Innkeepers' Blog

Notes and Insights About Shelburne and Our Inn


October 26, 2017 by: Heart of the Village Inn



Looking for Some Spirit? Come to Vermont and tour our state’s fantastic distilleries. From the gin geniuses at Stonecutter Spirits to the rye masters at WhistlePig, the distillers of Vermont are churning out some of the finest spirits in the world. Below are some of our favorite distilleries and tasting rooms in the area that you should absolutely pay a visit to next time you’re in town.

Wild Hart Distillery (Shelburne, VT)

Wild Hart specializes in making delicious gins and vodkas, and it’s our first distillery on this list because it’s located right here in Shelburne! It’s owned and run by Naomi Clemmons, Craig Stevens, and Master Distiller Joe Buswell. It also just so happens to be celebrating its grand opening on November 11th! If you’ll be in town, stop by to enjoy free tastings of their American Dry Gin and their lightly sweetened gin, Sugarfoot. They’ll also be revealing a limited edition seasonal spirit (Burning Embers!) that’s sure to be delicious.

Elm Brook Distillery (East Fairfield, VT)

There have been plenty of Vermont spirit companies popping up in recent years, but the Elm Brook Farm distillery is one of the few that actually uses Vermont products and distills in Vermont, "Forest to Flask". They offer two spirits: Rail Dog Barrel Aged Maple Spirit and Literary Dog Vodka. Rail Dog Barrel-Aged Maple Spirit, which is made with Vermont maple grown at Elm Brook Farm, tastes like something between cognac and whiskey. Their Literary Dog Vodka is made with maple sap from the farm, and it’s a super smooth vodka that’s meant to be sipped so that you can savor subtle flavors of toffee, cream, and sweet maple. If you want to visit the distillery for a tour and a free sample, contact them at to book an appointment.

Stonecutter Spirits (Middlebury, VT)

Gin fans: don’t leave Vermont without a trip to Stonecutter Spirits, which is known for their award-winning Single Barrel Gin. If gin isn’t your thing, you can indulge in their wildly smooth Heritage Cask Whiskey. Stonecutter’s tasting room and cocktail bar has an awesome vibe. Stop by to snag a free sample of gin, sip on their specialty cocktails, play tabletop shuffle board, and take a peek at the barrel room, where both their spirits are aged in-house.

Appalachian Gap Distillery (Middlebury, VT)

Pay a visit to the tasting room at Appalachian Gap Distillery and you’ll likely be served by none other than the distillery’s owners themselves. They’ll pour you samples and take the time to answer any questions you have about their process. Appalachian Gap’s most well-known offering is their Ridgeline Barrel Aged whiskey, but they also make rum, gin, tequila, vodka, and coffee liqueur. But, be warned: their coffee liqueur is so good that, after one sip, you might never be able to stomach Kahlua ever again. The tasting room is open from 1:00-5:00 PM daily.

Mad River Distillers (Burlington, VT)

Mad River’s distillery is based in Waitsfield, but they also have an awesome tasting room in Burlington. If you visit the Burlington tasting room, try their delicious (and adorable) flight of mini cocktails or enjoy a flight of spirits neat. If you make the trip to the distillery in Waitsfield, tours and tastings cost $10 a person, which includes samples. Make sure to book distillery tours at least 24 hours in advance.

Smugglers Notch Distillery (Jeffersonville, VT)

Smuggler’s Notch Distillery is run by a father-son team who decided to pull together their talents and start a family distillery. The Smuggler’s Notch tasting room is tiny and unassuming, but their spirits definitely pack a punch. You can sample their vodka, hopped gin, gin, wheat whiskey, rum, bourbon, or special reserve whiskey for anywhere between $3 and $20, depending on how thirsty you’re feeling. They’ve also got tasting rooms in Waterbury Center and Burlington.

WhistlePig Whiskey (Shoreham, VT)

WhistlePig founders Raj Bhakta, an entrepreneur who purchased the 200-year-old farm property back in 2007, and Dave Pickerell, former Master Distiller for Maker’s Mark, joined forces to make some of the world’s finest rye whiskey. They’ve received recognition and accolades from likes of GQ, The Wall Street Journal, and Wine Enthusiast. Their 500-acre farm has a distillery, tasting room, and event space in a 150-year-old dairy barn. According to their website, the farm is not open for tours or tastings at this time, but you can visit their tasting room in Middlebury to sample their entire line of aged whiskeys.

SILO Distillery (Windsor, VT)

Located in the super cool Artisan Park, the SILO distillery offers free tastings of their gin, vodka, whiskey, and bourbon (a ~$15 value based on prices at other tasting rooms). Their spirits are made right on the premises and the staff is super knowledgeable and friendly. The distillery is housed in a beautiful, well-maintained barn, which makes for an enjoyable ambiance. Plus, SILO is conveniently located right across from the Harpoon Brewery!

The Whiskey Room (Burlington, VT)

The Whiskey Room is a bar, not a distillery, but it makes our list because it might have one of the best whiskey selections in all of Vermont. Chat with the staff, and they’ll guide you through their cocktail selection to help you sample a few that you’re guaranteed to love. The ambiance is perfect for a couple or a small group, and they serve up some delicioustapas to complement your beverages.


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