News & Events

By in Cocktails, Revolution Rye Comments Off on Mad Capri

Mad Capri

  • 1 oz. Mad River Revolution Rye
  • 3/4 oz. Cynar Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Casoni 1814 Apertivo Liqueur (or Aperol)
  • Prosecco

Shake ingredients over ice vigorously for 30 seconds.  Double-strain into a champagne flute.  Top with 1 oz. of prosecco.  Garnish with an orange peel.

By in Cocktails, Revolution Rye Comments Off on Mad Italian

Mad Italian

  • 2 oz. Mad River Revolution Rye
  • 1/2 oz. Cocchi Americano Rosa
  • 1/2 oz. Cynar Liqueur
  • 2 Dashes Aromatic Bitter

Add ingredients over ice.  Stir well and strain into a coupe glass.  Garnish with an orange peel.

By in Cocktails, Maple Cask Rum Comments Off on Russell Warren Old Fashioned

Russell Warren Old Fashioned

  • 3 oz    Maple Cask Rum
  • .5 oz Honey Syrup
  • 1 dash Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
  • Optional: Club Soda

Stir all ingredients with a pinch of mint.  Strain and serve over ice, top with club soda if desired.  Garnish with mint.

Created by Ashish at the Russell House Tavern, Boston.

By in Cocktails, Revolution Rye Comments Off on 1794


  • 1.5 oz. Revolution Rye
  • 1.5 oz. Campari
  • 1.5 oz. Carpano Antica Vermouth

Stir Rye, Campari and Vermouth over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange swath.

By in Photos Comments Off on Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

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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!

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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

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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 Cocktails, Maple Cask Rum Comments Off on Maple Mojito

Maple Mojito


  • Ice
  • 6 Mint Leaves
  • 2 Lemon Wedges
  • 1 tsp. Maple Syrup or Sugar
  • 1.5 oz. Maple Rum
  • Club Soda

Muddle up the mint leaves, lime wedge and 1 tsp sugar.  In a shaker add: Ice, muddled ingredients and Maple Rum.  Shake!  Pour into a high ball glass and top with club soda.  Garnish with mint and lemon wedge.

By in Cocktails, Maple Cask Rum Comments Off on Hard Pressed

Hard Pressed


  • 2 oz. Maple Cask Rum
  • 1 oz. Apple Cider
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Cinnamon Stick

In a shaker combine ice, Maple Cask Rum, Angostura bitters and apple cider. Shake until frosty and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and an orange peel.

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 Cocktails, Maple Cask Rum Comments Off on Route 17

Route 17

A dastardly combination of our Maple rum and the Hyde Away’s House-made Ginger Beer!

  • 1.5 oz. Maple Rum
  • Hyde Away‘s House-made Ginger Beer
  • 1 lime wedge

Fill pint glass with ice and add 1.5 oz. MRD Maple Rum.  Top off with ginger beer and garnish with lime wedge!

By in Cocktails, Revolution Rye Comments Off on The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye

From Garden to glass, this drink will excite all 5 senses.

  • 2 oz. Rye
  • 2 oz. grapefruit juice
  • dash of agave nectar
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 1 lime wedge

Muddle lime and 2 sage leaves in rocks glass.  Add ice, muddled ingredients, rye, grapefruit juice and agave nectar to shaker and shake until frosty!  Pour into a rocks glass and garnish with a floating sage leaf.

By in Cocktails, Maple Cask Rum Comments Off on Tap & Press

Tap & Press


  • 1 part Maple Rum
  • .5 parts Amaro
  • .25 parts Lemon
  • 2 parts Citizen Cider Dirty Mayor (Ginger Cider)

This incredibly delicious cocktail was created by our good friend Chris O’Neill.  You can catch him mixing up classic cocktails with our spirits at Deuxave in Boston, MA.

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