If you’re looking for a good excuse to pour yourself a glass of booze today, and to celebrate a couple of our local distilleries, I’m here for you. While I don’t think that we need an excuse to drink here in Cincinnati, because we’ve already got plenty of them, I’ll take one when I find it!

The US Open Whiskey and Spirits Championship just wrapped up its 2023 competition, and in the wake, we have a couple of big winners here in town, including a National Grand Champion.

Northern Row, Five Stories

Let’s start with Five Stories Distillery, the distillery side of Northern Row in OTR. The distillery first launched its spirits in 2021 and since then has started to make a name for themselves locally with a lineup of tasty spirits including a few gins that are really starting to turn heads.

I haven’t been down to taste their barrel-aged rums, yet – but I think that after you see the two products that they took home some hardware for, you’ll agree that I (and you) probably need to make that a bit more of a priority!

  • Gold Medal – Rum Cask
  • Silver Medal – Barrel-Aged Rum

March First, Cincinnati Distilling

Cincinnati Distilling is the distillery arm of the March First family of brands, and riding the wake of just completing construction on a big new distillery in Old Milford – they took home a whole bucket of medals this year, including a big National Grand Champion title.

The distillery is running on all cylinders, and with four current taprooms around town and one more on the way (the old Rock Bottom space on Fountain Square), I can’t imagine that they’ll be slowing down any time soon.

This is a big list of medals… which should hopefully show you that no matter what you like to drink, they’ve probably got it for you!

  • Gold Medal – Single Barrel Ohio Straight Bourbon
  • Gold Medal – Peach Maple Cask Finished Bourbon
  • Silver Medal – Ohio Straight Bourbon
  • Silver Medal – Catherine Waldschmidt Bourbon
  • Silver Medal – Cincinnati Rye Whiskey
  • Silver Medal – Fire Brigade Cinnamon Whiskey
  • Bronze Medal – Stout Cask Finished Bourbon
  • Bronze Medal – Code Four Blueberry Donut Whiskey
  • Bronze Medal – Voltage Peppermint Schnapps
  • Bronze Medal – Stillwrights Spiced Rum

It’s the fourth year in a row that Cincinnati Distilling has taken home one of the slots for top distilleries in the country via this competition, and I’m pretty excited to see how they keep growing!

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