Media & Events

By in Media & Events Comments Off on Recent Press on Our Whiskeys!

Recent Press on Our Whiskeys!

4 ways Rye Whiskey is going against the grain.
The rye whiskey renaissance has led to a new batch of American distillers breaking established rules and foraging ahead with forward-thinking spirits.

Revolution Rye (Mad River Distillers, Warren, VT, $50). Three rye varietal grains, a portion of which is malted and roasted “chocolate” rye, create deep toffee and orange peel flavors.

Read the full article on Wine Enthusiast

By in Media & Events Comments Off on Mad River Distillers Releases Hopscotch Vermont Single Malt Whiskey

Mad River Distillers Releases Hopscotch Vermont Single Malt Whiskey

Warren, Vermont, November 7th, 2016–  Mad River Distillers of Warren is debuting its newest whiskey with the strictly limited edition release of Hopscotch, the first (legal) Vermont Single Malt Whiskey in, as far as we can tell, at least a hundred years.

The 2016 Mad River Distillers Hopscotch release, bottled at 92 proof (46% ABV), is the result of a collaboration with neighbor and award-winning brewer Sean Lawson of Lawson’s Finest Liquids.

Just 200 hand-numbered bottles have been produced for the Vermont market, along with a limited release to key craft spirits retailers in Massachusetts. Sales begin on Tuesday, November 15th.

“Hopscotch came about from our friendship with Sean and the idea that we had been interested in doing a Single Malt whiskey,” said Mad River Distillers Alex Hilton. “We worked on a mash bill collectively that we felt would be well suited for a Single Malt. We distilled it, he added some hops then we barreled it. And then we waited…”

Lawson completed a 100% barley beer wash as the base for the whiskey at his brewery, 10% of which was maple-smoked with wood sourced from the distillery’s Cold Springs Farm. Mad River then distilled the wash into whiskey in its Müller still. It filled new, charred American Oak barrels which aged in the company’s rickhouse.

Hopscotch was aged for over a year, and carefully tested for maturation along the way by Mad River Distillers Alex Hilton, John Egan and Brett Little. The result is a supple, flavorful whiskey that bridges the ground between the classic American whiskey style and the smoky tang of traditional Scottish Single Malts. The final stamp of approval came from Lawson himself.

“I think he was impressed,” Hilton commented. “I don’t think there were really any expectations, but when he tasted the finished whiskey, he gave us his ‘2000 percent’ approval!”

The company plans a release party at the Mad River Distillers Burlington tasting room on Tuesday, November 15th complete with food, beer from Lawson’s Finest and live music from members of The Grift.

About Mad River Distillers:

Mad River Distillers was founded in 2011 by John Egan, Brett Little and Maura Connolly with the intention of producing high-quality, handcrafted spirits using locally-sourced, non-GMO ingredients and Cold Springs Farm’s exceptionally pure natural spring water. The Warren, Vermont-based company, which is now distributed in New England, New York and California, currently produces four rums, three whiskeys including Hopscotch, and Malvados Apple Brandy, which was a 2015 Good Food Awards winner.


About Lawson’s Finest Liquids:

Lawson’s Finest is a small batch, artisanal microbrewery located in Warren, Vermont. The beer is custom crafted at a modest production facility tucked in the woods, on the east flank of Lincoln Mountain.

Sean Lawson has earned critical acclaim and an enthusiastic fan following in the world of craft brewing. He started Lawson’s Finest as a single-barrel nanobrewery, with his wife Karen in 2008 after 20 years of home brewing. His specialty maple beers & IPA’s have garnered awards at the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, and at two National IPA championships (2011 – Triple Play IPA and 2016- Super Session #2.)


By in Media & Events Comments Off on Hopscotch Release Nov. 15th!

Hopscotch Release Nov. 15th!

RSVP to Limited capacity!

hopscotch-release-posterIn Massachusetts, find Hopscotch at the following retailers:

Cambridge Spirits: 9 Broad Canal
City Liquors: Mass Ave
Hopsters Alley at the Boston Public Market
Giles Fine Wines: Winchester
Table and Vine: West Springfield
Cambridge Wine and Spirits: Fresh Pond
Pour Richards: Franklin, MA
Social Wines: South Boston

Rhode Island:
Bottles, Providence

By in Media & Events Comments Off on Release Date Announcement: PX Rum Finished in Pedro Ximenez Barrels

Release Date Announcement: PX Rum Finished in Pedro Ximenez Barrels


Our demerara-based rum takes on a new dimension. After careful aging in a mixture of toasted and charred barrels, the rum is finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, imparting nutty and smoky aromas and flavors. Limited quantities of PX Rum are available at our Burlington, VT tasting room.

By in Media & Events Comments Off on PX Rum Release Party- You’re Invited!

PX Rum Release Party- You’re Invited!



PX Rum Release Party

Thursday, October 20th, 6-9 pm

Mad River Distillers Burlington  137 St. Paul St. Burlington, VT  05401  Tel: 802-489-5501

Limited entry, RSVP:

$20 tickets, includes PX Rum tasting, tapas and a cocktail. PX Rum available for sale. Get this limited edition while you can!


By in Media & Events Comments Off on Burlington Tasting Room Now Open!

Burlington Tasting Room Now Open!


137 St. Paul St. [On the corner of St. Paul and Main St.] Burlington, VT  05401


Thurs-Sat: 12 noon – 8 pm

Sun: 11 am – 6 pm

Mon & Wed: 12 noon – 6 pm

Closed Tuesday

Visit us to sample and purchase our spirits and cocktail accessories as well as mixers and bitters.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings we serve cocktails highlighting Mad River Distillers spirits.

By in Media & Events Comments Off on Limited Editions Coming Fall of 2016!

Limited Editions Coming Fall of 2016!

PX RumPXRum_375_Label_Revision

Finished in Pedro Ximenez Barrels

Our demerara-based rum takes on a new dimension. After careful aging in a mixture of toasted and charred barrels, the rum is finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, imparting nutty and smoky aromas and flavors.

Vermont residents can pre-order; email

Hop ScotchHopscotch Front

Vermont Single Malt Whiskey

Made from malted barley and brewed by Sean Lawson, the wash for this whiskey is a collaboration between Mad River Distillers and the creator of Lawson’s Finest Liquids.

Vermont residents can pre-order; email

By in Media & Events Comments Off on Mad River Distillers to Open Tasting Room in Burlington

Mad River Distillers to Open Tasting Room in Burlington


For decades, the airy corner storefront at 137 St. Paul Street in Burlington was home to the Hempest, the clothing retailer known for its spirited, eco-friendly duds. Shortly after the Boston-based boutique closed earlier this month, Mad River Distillers moved in. Now the craft distillery is hard at work transforming the space into a tasting room and retail shop.

If all goes well, the cofounders of the Warren distillery — John Egan, Maura Connolly and Brett Little — will be offering samples of their whiskeys, rums and Malvados apple brandy later this month — at least on a pop-up basis. The opening date remains fuzzy pending permits, says distillery president Mimi Buttenheim, who joined the company last spring after four years heading Vermont Spirits.

When it opens for regular hours in January, the Burlington tasting room will follow the company’s Waitsfield outlet (open on weekends) as its second retail location. Along with its own bottles, the shop will carry spirits from other Vermont distilleries, plus mixers, glassware, bar tools and gift packs, such as a three-flask holiday sampler of MRD rye, bourbon and maple rum.

Though Buttenheim emphasizes that the new space will not be a bar, the tasting room will have a bar and will host special cocktail nights, workshops and other boozy events in hopes of tapping into the Queen City’s increasing interest in craft food and spirits. “It’ll give us a chance to talk to people about how we make these cocktails and give people a better sense of what craft distilling is all about,” Buttenheim says.

Egan notes that the company decided early on to distill every spirit by hand and from scratch, using as many local and regional raw materials as possible. “We think that’s a point of differentiation for people that are interested in this movement,” he says.

What’s more, Egan says he’s excited to use the space as a tasting lab, where visitors will be able to offer feedback on the test batches, experiments and new products that head distiller Little is working on back at the distillery. “We’re really excited about Burlington,” Egan says. “We think it’s a great place to be.”

By in Media & Events Comments Off on Malvados Named a 2016 Good Food Award Finalist!

Malvados Named a 2016 Good Food Award Finalist!


We are thrilled to announce that our “Wicked Vermont Apple Brandy” was named a 2016 Good Food Award Finalist.

We met all of the responsible production criteria in addition to being a top scorer at the Blind Tasting among a pool of nearly 2,000 entries.

Winners will be announced January 2016. All the finalists in the spirits category may be found here.



By in Media & Events Comments Off on The Mad River Distillers Philosophy – A Distiller’s Journey

The Mad River Distillers Philosophy – A Distiller’s Journey

Fermented, Distilled and Bottled by Hand at Cold Spring Farm, Vermont.

There has been a lot written lately about that fact that many craft distillers are actually selling spirits that were distilled by somebody else.  With the interest in craft spirits and the number of people flocking to the industry, it’s easy to see how some folks can decide to bottle, or rectify, someone else’s spirits so they can get to market sooner. For the same reasons, some people choose to start off making un-aged spirits, like vodkas or gin, that also allow them to get to market.  Some people are completely transparent about doing this; others are less so.  In addition, it is hard to generalize about these approaches since some craft distillers show real talent when it comes to blending or aging and their products are quite good.  Given the focus and controversy, however, we felt it made sense to explain what we do, why we do it and what that means for the spirits we make.

When we started Mad River Distillers, we wanted to really learn the “craft” of distilling and also make differentiated products that were expressive of the grains and fruits from which we made them.  Initially, this led us to buy a German-made still which is tremendous at carrying flavors across the distillation process but which could not make vodka or gin if our lives depended on it.  We then spent a bunch of time canvasing Vermont and much of New England looking for farms, orchards and vineyards producing the best organic and non-GMO grains and fruits. Often, these ingredients were in limited supply and they were much more expensive than the bulk ingredients available through some of the larger agricultural conglomerates. Along the way, we met some great, hard-working people who bring our same craft sensibilities to their work.

Our passion required that we learn everything for ourselves.  Which meant that there were ups and downs along the way and often some false starts and wrong turns.  When we didn’t like the way our first corn whiskey tasted, we went back to school and learned about the chemistry of corn and starches and the practices of 19th century distillers.  In the end, this enabled us to produce a much smoother bourbon although our mashing process takes a lot longer and involves a number of extra steps.  When it came to fermentation, we bought some shiny closed top tanks that looked great but didn’t work so well with grain fermentations. We ended up having open top fermenters fabricated to our specs and the result has been a much better fermentation.  When the extreme heat this summer caused our fermentations to start running too hot we had to reconfigure our fermentation room to keep the ambient temperature within a range we liked better.

We have had similar experiences with barreling, aging and blending. We have started to age our products longer and are blending small batches to optimize the qualities we derive from different barrels. We are also experimenting with different barrels for finishing our spirits. And we love to try our hand at new spirits. Last year, we made some grappa on a lark and it was extraordinary. Unfortunately, there was only enough for us.  Today, we are working with a local craft brewer to make some smoked and hopped malt whiskies.  We have no idea how that will turn out but we are excited to try it.

In the end, there are a lot of different approaches to making craft spirits and we are not going to criticize anyone who is providing consumers with differentiated products that represent a break from the monolithic offerings of the big spirits conglomerates.  Our approach may not always produce the very best spirit in a class and there may be variation from batch to batch.  But our passion requires that we source the best raw ingredients, and do all of the mashing, fermenting, distilling and aging ourselves and that is our pledge to anyone who buys our products.

John Egan

August 2015

By in Media & Events Comments Off on MAD RIVER HIRES NEW PRESIDENT


Warren VT (May 6, 2015) – Mad River Distillers is pleased to announced that Mimi Buttenheim has joined the distillery as its President. Mimi brings a decade of experience in the premium wine and craft spirits industries. A seasoned professional, Mimi will oversee all distillery operations with an emphasis on marketing, branding and distribution. When she is not working, Mimi is a competitive equestrian and loves spending time with her Australian Cattle Dog, Jazz.

“Mad River Distillers is a great group of people making authentic craft spirits in the beautiful Mad River Valley of Vermont and I look forward to helping them expand their markets and introduce their spirits to consumers across the country,” Mimi Buttenheim stated.

“Since our inception, we have been focused on making great spirits. In the last year, we have won close to a dozen awards. With Mimi on board, we will now be able to extend that same level of passion and focus to all aspects of our business and we are tremendously excited,” said Brett Little, Founding Distiller.

“Everyone knows that the right chemistry is a critical part of distilling, but it’s just as important for our team here at Mad River. We all hit it off with Mimi right away and I am truly excited to work with her to build upon our initial success,” noted Al Hilton, General Manager.

Mad River Distillers was founded in Warren, Vermont in 2011 with a focus on making authentic and sustainable craft spirits from the finest locally sourced ingredients. Using Vermont spring water from their farm and local organic and non-GMO grains and fruits, Mad River Distillers distill bourbon, rye, rums and brandies. Their spirits have won numerous awards, including gold medals for their Maple Rum and Malvados apple brandy.

By in Media & Events Comments Off on Whiskey Rebellion – March 21st & 22nd

Whiskey Rebellion – March 21st & 22nd

Join us for the 2015 Whiskey Rebellion Boston hosted by eatBoston in Cambridge, MA this weekend -March 21st & 22nd! We will be sampling some of our Rye, Bourbon, and Maple Rum alongside a ton of other great distilleries.

If you are interested in buying tickets or finding out more, head here

We look forward to seeing you guys in Beantown!

By in Media & Events Comments Off on 40th Annual North American Telemark Festival at Mad River Glen

40th Annual North American Telemark Festival at Mad River Glen

We’re psyched to be a part of the 40th annual (and  last) North American Telemark Festival being held at Mad River Glen this weekend.  It’s sad to see such an incredible event leave the Mad River Valley – but we assure you that this festival will go out with a bang!

We will be sampling at the event today, March 7th from 2:00pm – 4:00pm, so swing on by our table and warm up with some of our finest whiskey, rum & apple brandy!  Cheers!

For more info about the event click here!


By in Media & Events Comments Off on Tasting at the Stowe Liquor Store – Feb 20th

Tasting at the Stowe Liquor Store – Feb 20th

We are pleased to announce that we will be doing a tasting at the Stowe Liquor Store on Friday, February 20th from 4:30 to 6:30PM!  We will be sampling our entire product line, including our recently released Apple Brandy – Malvados!  If you haven’t had a chance to check out our products, here is your next golden opportunity!

By in Media & Events Comments Off on WhiskyLive NYC – Feb. 25th & 26th

WhiskyLive NYC – Feb. 25th & 26th

We will be sampling some of our finest spirits at the WhiskyLive NYC event in New York, NY February 25th and 26th!  WhiskyLive is the international celebration of whisky, bringing all the whiskies of the world together under one roof.  What could possibly be better than that?

Aside from all of the whisky, there will be great food and a range of education and entertainment to make learning about whisky both fun and stimulating.

If you have any interest in attending WhiskyLive this year, additional information and tickets can be found here.

You must be 21 years old to visit Mad River Distillers.

Please verify your age to enter