“distillers of premium Vodka, Rums, Gin, & Absinthe”
In the summer of 2010, Henry and Jennifer Peltier were on vacation with their good friends Tom and Beth Donner, enjoying rum drinks on a dock lakeside in Coeur d’Alene , Idaho. Such occasions tend to lend themselves to conversations on widely varied topics, and this occasion was no different. The friends talked about the scenery, their children, the fun they were having.
Then Tom held his glass aloft and exclaimed – perhaps offered is a better word – “We should make this.” He was met with three quizzical looks. “Rum. We should make rum.” Howling laughter. “Yeah right!” “Are you demented?” “Give me that glass, you’ve had enough.” After the ribbing died down, the conversation changed and became considerably more serious.
The friends realized that they lived in the heart of Louisiana’s sugarcane growing region, and that rum was made from sugarcane, but it had never occurred to them that, for some inexplicable reason, no one had ever made rum in or around their home town of Thibodaux, LA. But actually someone had!
After the friends returned home and began to seriously pursue the idea, they discovered that people from the local sugar mill had made rum there decades ago, but the facts surrounding the production were sketchy. Some people involved remembered the end product being quite good, others not-quite-so. Opinions were offered that Louisiana sugarcane had something about it which made it impossible to make rum from, that Louisiana politics may have played a part, that there was a general lack of expertise involved. Frankly, no one knows exactly why, but the Thibodaux rum experiment died. Until 2011.
In that year, Donner-Peltier Distillers was incorporated, and the friends became business partners with the stated goal of producing the best rum on the planet. The problem was, none of them had ever produced rum. Or any spirit for that matter. Not wine or even homemade beer from kits. To be fair, between the four of them, the expertise level was precisely zero. So they did what most entrepreneurs worth their salt do. They dove in. They traveled, they read, they visited distilleries. Extensively. They developed their craft and learned the subtle nuances that make great spirits. Slowly, methodically, stubbornly, they learned the magic.
Then they turned to practical matters. It was very important to the group that they not cut corners or skimp on quality. Their experiences had taught them that the people who did so ended up with inferior products. So they sat down and designed a distillery themselves. They bought the absolute best quality equipment available. Water filtration systems that purify water using four different methods. Stainless steel mashing and fermentation tanks.
And the ultimate: a 3000 liter, 18 foot high steam-fired copper Kothe still capable of rectifying spirits 17 times in a single pass
You have to try their vodka and their praline-flavored rum. Everything is made with local stuff, so it's got an awesome, special taste, and you can tell that they're so passionate about their home state. And make sure you get them to tell you about the legend of the rougaroux! You'll be seriously spooked.
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- Mon - Fri: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Sat: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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