Hello to my lovely Sippers and Quippers out there!
I know I’ve mostly been talking about beer recently here on Sip and Quip, and I’m sorry I haven’t shown more love to our friends over in the spirit and cocktail world lately! I’m actually a huge fan of good whiskey, but most of the best whiskeys are made Scotland, Ireland, Tennessee, or Kentucky, (and maybe Japan, depending on who you ask) and none of those places are where I live. But that is quickly changing here in Louisiana! As I’ve said before, distilleries are appearing all over this state, including one in my home town. Let me illuminate for you the game changing awesomeness that is Donner-Peltier Distillers.
Donner-Peltier Distillers, or DPD, (and that’s pronounced “pel-chay”) opened in late 2012. It was the brain child of two couples: Dr. Tom and Beth Donner, and Dr. Henry and Jennifer Peltier. The doctors Donner and Peltier were lounging around one day sipping rum while their families were on vacation together. They began to wonder why, with all the sugar cane in Louisiana, and in the Thibodaux area in particular, no one tried to produce rum. After a massive amount of homework due to the ancient liquor laws in this state, especially when it comes to distilling,(Seriously, some of them go back to Prohibition…) they pooled their resources and opened what has shown itself to be a world-class distillery. Businesses all over south Louisiana have begun carrying the products and they’ve been very popular. I asked a bartender friend of mine to elaborate on that very subject!
DPD started with three products: the Rougaroux Sugarshine clear rum, the Rougaroux Full Moon dark rum, and Oryza vodka. Shortly after that they introduced the Oryza Gin and the Rougaroux 13 Pennies Praline rum. After about a year of production, they introduced their newest product, the LA1 Whiskey. LA1 is the first aged whiskey to be produced in Louisiana since Prohibition, which is an awesome thing to think about. The sugar cane used for the rum is sourced from Lafourche Sugar Mill, which is not only in Thibodaux, but owned by Dr. Peltier’s family. The Oryza line (“Oryza” is Latin for “rice”) is all made from Louisiana long-grain rice from, and DPD is the only distillery in the world to use long grain rice to make spirits. (It’s incredibly difficult) The gin is flavored using lots of botanicals other than juniper, with the most prominent being satsuma, lavender, and pink peppercorn, among others. The satsumas are also as local as can be.
Green: Sugar Cane – Thibodaux, LA
Purple: Satsumas – Thibodaux, LA
Yellow: Molasses – Gray, LA
Red: Rice – Crowley, LA
Blue: Pecans – Alexandria, LA
Tyson Frizell, the master distiller, told me (and you by proxy) about their big fancy copper still.
The tasting room is gorgeous and the tour is only $5, very informative, and comes with a free cocktail!