Meet Maryland’s MISCellaneous Distillery

Road Trip!

MISCellaneous Distillery: Mt. Airy, Maryland

Join us on our Road Trip, visiting Craft Makers across America!

On today’s Road Trip stop we are meeting up with Dan McNeill—owner, founder and distiller of MISCellaneous Distillery in Mt. Airy, Maryland. Follow along as we explore their distillery and delicious spirits.

We had so much fun with Dan and hope whenever anyone in Tippler Nation is nearby they pay him a visit and support MISCellaneous Distillery’s journey by bringing home a few bottles to build out delicious craft home bar of their own!


“At MISCellaneous Distillery, we have a passion for distilling that is inspired by the old Maryland craft traditions and new traditions that we and others will shape. Locally sourced and distilled, our true mark of success is creating a spirit that is enjoyed by those who drink what they like, and not what they’re supposed to drink. We take great pride in bringing you the finest award-winning lineup of spirits in the area. Using only the finest, locally-sourced ingredients, we’ve developed a family of hand-crafted spirits with a unique Maryland flair.

We opened our doors at MISCellaneous Distillery in December 2016 with a commitment to creating high quality spirits using local inputs. Since then, we’ve grown into an amazing small team and now offer 10 award-winning spirits that you can find at stores, bars, restaurants, and farmers markets throughout Maryland and DC. And we love our local community, so we work with several local non-profits to help them achieve their missions as well.

MISCellaneous Distillery


00:08 – Intro & Welcome

00:51 – Intro to MISCellaneous Distillery

01:42 – Tour in the distillery begins

03:08 – Brill’s Batch Bourbon Tasting

04:42 – Poncho, Lefty, and Georgia: The Stills

05:48 – Gregarious Gin Tasting

06:42 – More of the distillery tour

07:28 – Popi’s Finest Rum Tasting (and the history behind it)

09:10 – Distillery tour continues

09:41 – Gertrude’s 100% Rye Whiskey Tasting

10:59 – Closing & Thanks

About Your Hosts

The Crafty Cask celebrates and supports craft alcohol makers through engaging consumer content, events, virtual tastings, and online education. We help craft enthusiasts drink better and craft makers market their brands better to build thriving small businesses that keep #TipplerNation drinking well!

Your hosts for this event, alongside the featured maker, are Suzanne Henricksen, Founder of The Crafty Cask and Evan Rothrock, sommelier, certified cider professional, mixologist, and bespoke wine tour guide.

Read the transcript

00:00:00,000 –> 00:00:06,060
(Upbeat Music)

00:00:07,080 –> 00:00:13,040
Hi I’m Suzanne Henricksen a researcher, and storyteller by trade, and a world explorer,  

00:00:13,040 –> 00:00:16,880
drink local enthusiast by heart. I’m 
traveling the world to celebrate and  

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share the people the process the stories 
and the innovations behind craft alcohol  

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and I can’t wait to share our amazing finds with all of you so let’s get drinking Crafty Cask style

00:00:29,840 –> 00:00:36,039
(Banjo music)

00:00:51,120 –> 00:00:57,892
[Suz] Hello, hello Tippler Nation [Evan] Hey guys!
[Suz] we are here we are at  MISCellaneous Distillery in Mt. Airy, Maryland.  

00:00:57,925 –> 00:01:03,840
[Suz] We are so excited to be here we are going to take a little tour we’re going to do a little taste we’re  

00:01:03,840 –> 00:01:08,068
[Suz] going to learn all about MISCellaneous Distillery really and then we’re going to share it all with all of you!

00:01:08,068 –> 00:01:12,673
(Banjo Music continues)

00:01:12,907 –> 00:01:15,910
[Suz] so how’d you guys get started you’ve 
been around a couple of years right 2000-.  

00:01:15,910 –> 00:01:21,030
[Dan] yeah 2016 we opened uh open our doors at the end of the year. you know for me I wanted to make something  

00:01:22,160 –> 00:01:30,640
[Dan] real physical that was all all mine you know that I could hang my hat on each chair and say I made this  

00:01:30,640 –> 00:01:40,000
[Dan] product and it took a little while to pick up what that was…until I realized I really love, you know rum and really love whiskey

00:01:40,000 –> 00:01:41,402
[Dan] Especially Rye Whiskey

00:01:41,402 –> 00:01:45,204
(Music continues)

00:01:45,840 –> 00:01:50,880
[Dan] so everything is starts here this is an electric steam boiler here that’s our main source of heat  

00:01:50,880 –> 00:01:56,320
[Dan] for ‘Josey Wales’ which is our mash time so ‘Josey Wales’ being the outlaw with the Clint Eastwood movie

00:01:56,320 –> 00:02:01,540
with the movie um- I’m a huge Clint Eastwood fan-
so I had to name at least one piece of equipment after it

00:02:02,720 –> 00:02:08,240
[Dan] and what we do here is we’ll add 
in our raw ingredients in the water  

00:02:08,240 –> 00:02:13,680
[Dan] so for our rums we’re just adding in blackstrap 
molasses with dark brown sugar if you look inside  

00:02:13,680 –> 00:02:20,000
[Dan] we’ve got a great big paddle mixer in there that’s going to mix this all up about 200 RPMs  

00:02:20,720 –> 00:02:27,520
[Dan] and that’s going to get us a nice emulsification- emulsification get that all stirred up and I’ll  

00:02:27,520 –> 00:02:34,160
[Dan] transfer the rum…for fermentation over to one of these and I’ll do open our fermentation for about  

00:02:34,160 –> 00:02:41,360
[Dan] five days. all our whiskies are…for our ryes 100% rye grain everything else added so we don’t do any  

00:02:41,360 –> 00:02:49,840
[Dan] malting without doing any corn by doing barley and then the same idea for our corn whiskey 100% corn  

00:02:50,400 –> 00:03:00,581
[Dan] but for bourbon since I really like rye and bourbon has to be 51% corn, I do 51% corn, and 49% rye

00:03:00,614 –> 00:03:03,150

00:03:11,625 –> 00:03:20,294
[Dan] so this is BRILL’S BATCH BOURBON WHISKY….um, this is the straight version so we have had the straight aging less than 2 years

00:03:20,294 –> 00:03:23,214
[Dan] thats straight only..

00:03:23,214 –> 00:03:28,822
[Dan] so this is actually named after May, my wife’s, grandmother…
[Suz] I was wondering

00:03:28,822 –> 00:03:32,382
(Chatter and laughter)

00:03:32,800 –> 00:03:36,560
[Dan] so well the funny thing was there’s not like  

00:03:37,280 –> 00:03:41,380
[Dan] you know my grandmother was a drinker, my great grandfather lived in Cuba yeah

00:03:41,380 –> 00:03:43,380
[Suz] Sure! Yeah, the stories fit!

00:03:44,320 –> 00:03:49,040
[Dan] with brittle and- we’re celebrating 
her 90th birthday July 4th so  

00:03:49,040 –> 00:03:49,540
[Evan] Oh cool!

00:03:49,680 –> 00:03:53,680
[Dan] you know she’s still with us for a long 
time I was actually like hesitant to put  

00:03:53,680 –> 00:03:57,920
[Dan] her photo on the bottle because the other two have already passed and so there was a little like..  [Suz] sure..

00:03:57,920 –> 00:04:04,745
[Dan] and might tempted fate but anyway she’s she’s still alive she’s and he put the labels out um

00:04:06,125 –> 00:04:10,739
[Suz] and its kind, for her to be alive and like witness this, and be like ‘oh my god its bourbon!’

00:04:10,899 –> 00:04:18,779
[Dan] We saw her a couple months ago, she was like ecstatic, she had a bottle of this sitting on her like credenza whenever, there was like light shining right at it

00:04:18,779 –> 00:04:22,763
[Dan] its like…it’s a photo of her! You know? (laughter)
[Suz] that’s cool!

00:04:23,123 –> 00:04:25,903
[Dan] so 51% corn, 49% Rye

00:04:26,440 –> 00:04:34,942
[Dan] it’s all made the same way you know with the stones and everything but it really just barely means that definition for bourbon, right?

00:04:43,928 –> 00:04:50,560
[Dan] Poncho and Lefty are kind of our finishing stills so basically all our recipes do a double top installation  

00:04:51,120 –> 00:04:56,120
[Suz] it looks like we have something happening in this one-
[Dan] Georgia is our vodka and gin still
[Suz] okay

00:04:56,120 –> 00:05:02,803
[Dan] so we are currently making a vodka, this is off of our uh, rum-run. All of our vodka and gin is molasses based.

00:05:02,803 –> 00:05:07,600
[Suz] I read that! Yeah thats fascinating. There isn’t a lot of great molasses based vodka or gin out there

00:05:07,600 –> 00:05:08,400
[Dan] it’s more expensive

00:05:08,400 –> 00:05:11,700
[Dan] so usually you’re using one of 
those cheapest style of your formula  

00:05:11,920 –> 00:05:18,640
[Suz] right
[Dan] but I really like the flavor of this, it’s a  
unique process
[Suz] and you’re already using molasses

00:05:18,640 –> 00:05:21,680
[Suz] Throughout that whole process for rum and everything, yeah cool

00:05:21,680 –> 00:05:24,640
[Dan] so this is running, we’re going to 
collect about four and a half gallons  

00:05:24,640 –> 00:05:28,700
[Dan] at 95% that’ll be our vodka put it back in the pot the next day  

00:05:29,200 –> 00:05:32,960
[Dan] run it again but this time we’ll 
actually use the gin gasket at the top  

00:05:32,960 –> 00:05:41,540
[Dan] and do a vapor fusion six botanicals in our gin, juniper, pink peppercorn, lemon peel, orange peel, grapefruit peel, (unknown). And that’s it

00:05:42,480 –> 00:05:48,241
[Dan] so that’s a it’s a light contemporary style gin
[Suz] yeah the grapefruit and pink peppercorn sound kinda fun

00:05:48,241 –> 00:05:53,101
(Upbeat music)

00:05:53,101 –> 00:05:58,592
[Suz] the gin is great too..
[Dan] now the gin, the same idea, we got the vodka and then you just add the vapor infusion

00:05:58,952 –> 00:06:02,329
[Dan] with these…sticks..
[Suz] it’s pretty light on the juniper

00:06:03,040 –> 00:06:10,720
[Suz] rose maybe…things that are really like heavy Juniper flavor are not my jam um I actually have been playing around a lot  

00:06:10,720 –> 00:06:15,520
[Suz] more aquavit than gin lately because I love the idea of the botanicals that Juniper is not  

00:06:15,520 –> 00:06:19,400
[Suz] like my favorite, favorite um 
whereas the caraway is kind of fun

00:06:20,220 –> 00:06:26,791
[Suz] Yeah but I like that yours is much more citrusy, and bright and kind of light than like ‘Christmas Tree’

00:06:26,791 –> 00:06:32,960
[Dan] that was the plan you know? It’s the- you still get Juniper, especially on the nose, the Juniper comes

00:06:32,960 –> 00:06:36,960
[Dan] through on that, and it comes bit in the mouth but you know, for the palette  

00:06:36,960 –> 00:06:41,860
[Dan] but for the most part that palette was 
really dominated by the citrus which is what I wanted

00:06:41,860 –> 00:06:45,560
(Music continues)

00:06:46,780 –> 00:06:52,320
[Suz] I haven’t seen is before this kind of yeah yeah yeah so these operate like plates you were saying?

00:06:52,320 –> 00:06:57,200
[Dan’ Exactly they’re just like plates so the 
idea here is that with the bubble caps um  

00:06:57,200 –> 00:07:01,440
[Dan] what you’ll have this is called the ‘Floodinator’ so you’re running cold water through here  

00:07:01,440 –> 00:07:06,160
[Dan] uh basically flooding you know the vapor back into liquid form and it floods these  

00:07:06,160 –> 00:07:11,440
[Dan] two plates so then as that vapor comes up from the pot you know vapor comes up from the pot  

00:07:12,000 –> 00:07:17,760
[Dan] you have a barrier of liquid at the top of these bubble caps so it’s going to come out  

00:07:17,760 –> 00:07:22,080
[Dan] of that vapor form back into the liquid as that vapor form back into it but every time  

00:07:22,080 –> 00:07:28,900
[Dan] it does it use the heavier properties like water behind and the alcohol becomes pure, and pure as it comes through it  

00:07:28,900 –> 00:07:33,059
(Music continues)

00:07:34,000 –> 00:07:39,600
[Dan] so now this is the barrel age version of our rum this is POPI’S FINEST RUM and as you see on the  

00:07:39,600 –> 00:07:44,160
[Dan] bottle this is my great grandfather from Cuba he was born in the states but then moved to Cuba at  

00:07:44,160 –> 00:07:51,600
[Dan] two years of age and lived there until he was in prison in ’59 when Diesta fell and Castro came in  

00:07:51,600 –> 00:07:56,400
[Dan] so he was in prison for about 5 years before they finally released him and then he moved to Puerto  

00:07:56,400 –> 00:08:01,360
[Dan] Rico and live the rest of his life there
[Suz] well I think Popi would be proud that’s that’s nice  

00:08:01,360 –> 00:08:07,360
[Dan] so this is you know been in uh one of those 30 gallon barrels this batch of 650 days we’re now  

00:08:07,360 –> 00:08:13,360
[Dan] even surpassing that you know over 2 years and it just kind of develops this wonderful  

00:08:13,360 –> 00:08:19,840
[Dan] full body flavor again you know keeping it at 50% mostly for the idea of if you want to drink  

00:08:19,840 –> 00:08:26,320
[Dan] this neat [Suz] you can
[Dan] you can but you can also we trust that everybody in the United States has a  

00:08:26,320 –> 00:08:31,920
[Dan] safe reliable source of fresh drinking water so they can proof down to whatever their suiting is  

00:08:31,920 –> 00:08:36,560
[Dan] so the higher I leave it the more you can play with it
[Suz] yeah it’s funny when we do a lot of our  

00:08:36,560 –> 00:08:39,840
[Suz] whiskey tastings we’re constantly kind of trying to teach people that because a lot of people will  

00:08:39,840 –> 00:08:44,000
[Suz] be tasting some of these things you know like Balconies Rye or something that’s like really  

00:08:44,000 –> 00:08:48,480
[Suz] up there and they’re just like it’s ‘woo! it’s too much for me!’ and we’re like ‘okay but that’s intentional actually’  

00:08:48,480 –> 00:08:53,840
[Suz] it’s putting like flexibility in 
your hands that’s not like whoops the distiller  

00:08:53,840 –> 00:08:57,680
[Suz] messed up and they’re making a really hot you know spirit it’s like they’re leaving it hot  

00:08:57,680 –> 00:09:03,280
[Suz] because A: it shows up better in cocktails um and B: now you get to play mad scientist at home  

00:09:03,280 –> 00:09:08,320
[suz] and sometimes you might want it a little hotter and other times you might want it smooth sipping  

00:09:08,320 –> 00:09:12,692
(Music continues)

00:09:13,120 –> 00:09:16,960
[Suz] what are you using these smaller five gallon barrels for?
[Dan] that’s how we started off on all our  

00:09:16,960 –> 00:09:23,040
[Dan] barrel programs so whether it was the bourbon or the rye or the rum we start off with fives ten to  

00:09:23,040 –> 00:09:29,760
[Suz] fifteens and we’re slowly phasing those out focus fully into things [Suz] cool
[Dan] so everything started off  

00:09:29,760 –> 00:09:35,360
[Dan] on that but then we age for less time right 5, 6 months
[Suz] learn a little faster and figure out  

00:09:35,360 –> 00:09:40,480
[Suz] what you want what you like
[Dan] and have truly aged products you know rather than kind of the semi age

00:09:40,480 –> 00:09:44,879
(Music Continues)

00:09:46,240 –> 00:09:53,200
[Dan] so this is barrel aged for 2 years in 
a 30 gallon uh White American Oak  

00:09:53,920 –> 00:10:00,160
[Dan] malt free. um Gertrude was my grandmother on the mother’s side he was also a Rye drinker out in  

00:10:00,160 –> 00:10:08,080
[Dan] Nebraska so we decided that she’s the right person to make this spirit after I used to always go out  

00:10:08,080 –> 00:10:16,480
[Dan] and visit her and shes drinking her Rye and water each night so it’s the same thing but

00:10:16,480 –> 00:10:22,964
[Dan] this was what I was going for, when I knew I was gonna open a distillery, I knew Gertrude was what I wanted to capture

00:10:22,964 –> 00:10:24,344
(indistinguishable chatter)

00:10:24,344 –> 00:10:29,096
[Evan] You said you don’t do, any malting varieties at all just straight rye?

00:10:29,096 –> 00:10:30,067
[Dan] straight rye.

00:10:30,067 –> 00:10:30,758
[Suz] one type of rye?

00:10:30,758 –> 00:10:32,245
[Dan] one type.

00:10:36,585 –> 00:10:45,484
[Dan] and all the grains for all the whiskeys, they’re all milled (indistinguishable)1800s. So we do this so that we don’t heat up the grains

00:10:45,484 –> 00:10:53,820
[Dan] it just kind of nicely breaks apart rather than a rolling mill or hanglin mill thats just heating it up, so we keep a lot more of the oils, keep a lot of that profile in there

00:10:56,000 –> 00:11:00,166
(Music continues)

00:11:00,480 –> 00:11:05,200
[Suz] Tippler Nation we found a treat 
with MISCellaneous Distillery  

00:11:05,200 –> 00:11:09,440
so um we just tasted through their 
entire lineup of 10 spirits and  

00:11:09,440 –> 00:11:15,040
not a bad one in the bunch and in fact amazing 
across the board we just we’re figuring out  

00:11:15,040 –> 00:11:20,240
what we’re gonna take with us um what we’re gonna 
bring back for our giveaways where you can win  

00:11:20,240 –> 00:11:25,040
some of MISCellaneous Distilleries delicious 
spirits as well as some of our other favorites  

00:11:25,040 –> 00:11:31,040
from breweries and cider houses and wineries 
and distilleries around the way so cheers  

00:11:31,040 –> 00:11:38,398
from MISCellaneous Distillery in Maryland and we 
will see you at our next stop soon bye y’all

00:11:38,398 –> 00:11:44,637
(Outro Music plays)

Until next time… Drink craft and drink the world. Cheers!

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