Ah, yes...the journey. Well, it's been quite.
You plan for certain things – like the configuration of your distilling equipment – and then certain things come at you – like the government shutdown. The good news is, the government is open again (including the federal agency that approves labels and formulas for distilled spirits) and our final piece of equipment is finally on its way to us from Kentucky: a 50-gallon custom-made copper still for our beloved gin, Solveig.
Being this close to "starting" has a tendency to make one focus entirely on the idea of getting something "done". And that leads to a sense of urgency for all of those tangible things like: when the hell will the whiskey be ready?
Though hard to say with complete certainty, we are fairly confident we can have Solveig on the shelves in time for Christmas (more merry) and Ålander Spiced Rum will make its appearance just after the New Year. That leaves the much-anticipated rye whiskey, Roknar. Aging a year puts its release around holidays 2014.
A cousin of ours recently said that starting up something like this feels like moving 1,000 miles per hour, 3 feet at a time. That probably sums things up better than anything else we've ever heard. (No surprise he's starting a craft brewery in Chicago, http://lowrezbrewing.com.)
So, for the next 3 feet, we will keep our eyes clear, wide open, and focused on the horizon. We're almost there, campers.