Utilizing new American-made copper stills, an overall handcrafted characteristic approach and veteran Master Distiller Graham Hamblett, Dogfish Head Distilling Co., of Milton, Delaware is expanding its scratch-made spirits line with the introduction of Dogfish Head Analog Vodka™, Dogfish Head Compelling Gin™ and Dogfish Head Whole Leaf Gin™.
To help create a unique and beautiful package which would be commensurate with the quality taste and rich goodness of its new premium vodka and gins, it called upon Saxco International, LLC, (saxco.com) of Horsham, PA, world-wide packaging specialists for the wine, spirits, beer and food industries and its vast global resource network to assist. “Our role was to help create an attractive and colorful new package that would also deliver a bold and distinctive shelf appearance and bring the project to fruition within the required timeline and budget parameters, “says Christian Maute, Saxco’s Mid-Atlantic sales manager, who coordinated with Saxco’s Eric Guli, project manager of supply chain on the Dogfish Head Distilling spirits project. Saxco’s Product Designer Nina Leshyk also worked with Maute and Guli on the project.
Moving the project forward working closely with the Dogfish Head Distilling Co.’s design and marketing team, Saxco helped to create a high quality private mold square shaped flint 750 ML bottle for the three new spirits with flat shoulders and a premium thick glass base. Saxco then provided a reliable time-tested overseas source to produce the bottle which incorporates a prominent embossed Dogfish Head logo on its right hand side. The glass manufacturer also completed the heat applied unique two-color pictorial graphics on the front of the bottles. These concepts and designs were done by Dogfish Head Lead Designer Tim Parrott. Parrott also provided the graphic designs for the pressure sensitive two color labels which are applied above the heat applied graphics.
The bottle was finished off with a Mahogany wood top synthetic cork which was over-fitted with a tamper evident tax stripe.
Dogfish Head’s new state-of-the-art distillery in in the heart of its Milton, DE campus, gives Head Distiller Graham Hamblett access to the same quality ingredients, brewing expertise and equipment used to make Dogfish Head off-centered ales. At the heart of the distilling operation are two 500-gallon copper stripping stills and a 250-gallon copper vodka column sourced from fourth-generation custom fabricator Vendome Copper & Brass Works in Louisville, Kentucky.
“As I travel, one request I hear over and over again from our beer consumers is, ‘When are you going to step up the spirits program and take Dogfish Head’s off-centered approach to a wider audience’?”, says Dogfish head founder and president Sam Calagione. “Well, over the last year we’ve made the right investments and the answer is now.”
“You can make spirits from almost any type of raw material. We have chosen to start with the same ingredients that go into our beer,” says Hamblett, a horticulturist with nearly two decades of experience running an artisanal winery and distillery. “In our process, everything starts in in its rawest form, from scratch and we use the best ingredients available. We use a batch distillation approach through each stage. It’s a bit more work than other approaches, but it allows me to closely monitor and control each step of the distillation process.”
The first spirits to debut with the off-centered approach are Dogfish Head Analog Vodka, Dogfish Head Compelling Gin and Whole Leaf Gin. Made with 100 percent brewers malt and proprietary “Doggie” yeast, Analog Vodka is 80-proof and embodies Dogfish Head’s 20-year commitment to quality and creativity. It’s crisp, with viscous sweetness of caramelized sugar, malted barley with cleaning minerality, a sipping vodka for whiskey drinkers. Suggested retail price is $32.99 for the 750 ML size.
Dogfish Head Compelling Gin is 88-proof and is distilled using the peel and flesh of citrus and a long list of culinary ingredients stolen from the Dogfish Head brewpub kitchen. Compelling Gin is bright and citrusy, with a crisp juniper snap and lingering cinnamon warmth, a culinary inspired gin. Suggested retail price is $36.99 for the 750 ML size.
Dogfish Head Whole Leaf Gin is 90 proof and continually doses whole-leaf hops into each step of the gin distillation process. This is an earthy gin with a drying coolness, yet bursting with floral hop goodness, the IPA of spirits. Suggested retail price is $38.99 for the 750 ML size.
“What we’re seeing is that consumers are looking for the same ‘goodness’ out of their craft spirits that have led them to explore craft beer,” says Dogfish head distillery manager James Montero. “They want a high-quality distilled spirit and an honest authentic approach wrapped in an interesting story.” Currently available in Delaware, the new spirits will soon be introduced in several Mid-Atlantic states.