The spirit makers at Hilton Head’s very first craft distillery are on a voyage.
Their ship is patiently and carefully built in the old ways — but in it, they venture fearlessly into uncharted waters. Here, tradition, nostalgia and a deep respect for all the distillers who came before commune with creative energies, innovation and emerging technologies.
In collaboration with distilleries in Upstate South Carolina and the Cayman Islands, Hilton Head Distillery is exploring the flavors of the tropical realm, aiming to capture and bottle its essence. Its rum — white, dark and spiced — begins in the heart of the tropics with a sugarcane molasses base. Added to the subtly sweet and slightly earthy white rum foundation are the region’s most mouthwatering flavors. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans steep for days to make the bold, smooth Mountain Peak Espresso Rum.
The Toasted Coconut Rum has notes of fresh, sweet pastries and savory macaroons.
The Bananas Foster Rum combines notes of caramelized banana, creamy vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon, and the Coastal Coconut Rum makes appearances in coveted cocktails all around the Island. For the flip side of the flavor spectrum, the Two Traditions Dark 23 Rum ages in port wine casks and contains hints of toasted oak, light smoke and spice.
Lest you think it’s all about rum, this 12,500-square-foot facility also produces whiskey, vodka and gin (plus hand sanitizer for the community!).
Their Whiskey Girl line includes flavors like their famous peach, honeysuckle, butterscotch and apple maple. And if you can believe it, the Aermoor Cloud Sourced Vodka uses water straight from Hilton Head’s low-lying mists!
While the distillery’s tours and wildly popular tastings have been pared down, it still offers flights of six spirits — neat — for $10. Visitors rave about the smooth, rich flavors, the excellent value and wanting to return with friends. With a comfortable seating area, full-sized and mini bottles for purchase and a fun and family-friendly vibe, this experience is a perfect rainy day activity — just don’t be surprised if others have the same idea!
Hilton Head Distillery has taken a number of measures to keep visitors and employees safe.
It follows the CDC’s hygiene recommendations. The distillery wipes down surfaces throughout the day. They limit the number of people inside at one time. They space out chairs and tables to allow for six feet between groups and provides sanitizer throughout the facility.
Open Wednesday through Saturday from 1-6 p.m., Hilton Head Distillery offers tastings on a first-come first-served basis.
Hilton Head Distillery
14 Cardinal Rd.
Hilton Head Island, SC
By Dani Ray