Branding a Product with a Sense of Place | Vermont Spirits

Branding With a Sense of Place

Branding With a Sense of Place

In the small town of Quechee, Vermont, a company by the name of Vermont Spirits Distilling Company utilizes sugars that represent Vermont to create their micro-distilled spirits. Since the late 1990’s the company has made a name for themselves through their production of handcrafted vodkas distilled from the sugars of milk and maple sap.

When vodka is mentioned, most people imagine a spirit distilled from potatoes or grains that have been made most famous by its Russian heritage. A majority of individuals are unaware that not only can vodka be distilled from just about any fermentable sugar, but also that distilleries are popping up in various places around the United States. Similar to the 1990’s when microbrewing became more widespread in the United States, micro-distilling is also beginning to become more popular and take up bigger market shares across the country. Vermont Spirits is a prime example of this. This company utilizes its location and resources to deliver a unique, high-quality micro-distilled product.

The distillery and tasting showroom is located just minutes from the scenic Quechee Gorge, which attracts many visitors and tourists from all over the country. Vermont Spirits benefits greatly from its location and production of unique products. However, the company hasn’t always been based out of its Quechee area. When the company began in 1999, its distillery was located further north in the remote town of Barnett, Vermont. Back then it was illegal to distil, sell and taste all in one location. When Vermont law changed to allow this, Vermont Spirits decided to relocate to a place that would give the company an actual presence so people would be more aware of their products.

Though neither of the company’s signature vodkas is flavored, their bases provide the finished product with a distinctive taste: “Our vodkas are vodkas with flavor; not flavored vodkas”, distiller Harry Gorman describes. The Vermont Gold, distilled from Vermont maple sap, delivers a vodka with the slightest maple aroma, along with a smooth, warm finish. Vermont Gold is not only a hit in Vermont but also all around the world. In 2004, Russia gave Vermont Gold the title of Best United States Vodka. The Vermont White, distilled from milk sugar derived from whey, provides a sweet and creamy finish.  Both vodkas are exceptional on their own, as well as in various cocktails.

Along with the Gold and White vodkas, Vermont Spirits has recently branched out into other products including Copper’s gin, Crimson apple vodka, and No. 14 Brandy. These newer spirits also use ingredients that are native to and represent Vermont. Copper’s gin is distilled from wild juniper berries along with some other botanical flavorings. This product is an American style gin that represents the state of Vermont through its use of local ingredients. No. 14 Brandy is a Calvados style brandy distilled from Vermont apples and aged for two years in oak barrels. Similar to the brandy, Crimson vodka uses Vermont-grown apples as its base.

The idea of place influences not only the ingredients of Vermont Spirit's products but also the names of the products. Copper’s gin's name comes from a coin used in the period before Vermont achieved statehood and was still an independent republic. No. 14 Brandy got its name because Vermont was the 14th state added to the union back in 1791. Vermont Spirits drew inspiration from the rich history of Vermont to form a connection between place and their brand. Through their use of ingredients that represent Vermont and prime tourist location, the company successfully uses place to promote their brand. Visit their website for more information on the brand, or stop by the distillery, open 10-5 daily! Cheers!