Today we visited Yellowfin Distillery in Sulphur Louisiana. This is a small distillery that produces everything by hand. It is right on the corner of N Beglis Parkway and E Burton Street (Old Spanish Trail).
We were greeted at the door by Jamison the founder and creator of Yellowfin vodka. Jamison is someone that is very passionate about his vodka. He explained that he started distilling when he was in college and started planning to start the business. He saved his money after leaving college and seven years later he took the plunge. In 2016 he produced his first batch and in 2017 he hired his best friend and only employee.
He offered us a tour of the distillery starting at the label. He explained that the label is in the shape of a boat. Jamison is a scuba diver and the picture is of the bottom of the dive boat looking up the anchor line that he took while he was doing his safety stop after completing a dive. He made his own font from a drawing of a trident and the help of a good friend.
Our next stop was the room where the fermenters are. There are four large round stainless steel containers that are used for fermenting. This room is also used as the filtering, bottling, labeling, boxing, and laboratory. At the time the only employee was labeling bottles getting them ready for boxing.
We walked over to the other side of the building to where the boiler is located. The boiler performs two functions. The cane sugar, all locally sourced and non GMO, is mixed with filtered water and boiled and mixed. Then it is transferred to one of the fermenters, cooled down, yeast is added, and allowed to ferment. When fermentation is done the “wine” is pumped back into the boiler and distilled.
When we were there they had a fresh batch distilling. The distilled liquid was being bled off into a 5 gallon carboy to be discarded. Jamison explained that the first part of the batch is not up to his standards. For the product to be vodka it must be 95% alcohol when is comes out of the distiller. As we were leaving they were testing the batch to see if it was ready to be collected for the final product. The final product is collected into a large stainless steel container and transported back over to the bottling area.
Once in the bottling area it is quadruple filtered and then again triple filtered and diluted down to the final 40% alcohol. Then it is transferred into freshly washed bottles and sealed. They use their left over vodka that is again filtered to wash the bottles,
Everything in the whole process is done with the passion of people that truly believe in what they are doing.
Our last stop was at the small bar that they have for tasting. He poured us a taste and we were pleasantly surprised. It is very smooth even though the vodka was not chilled. He had us sold and we purchased a bottle to go.