Comfortably nestled in between an old washer/dryer restoration company and a metal fabrication factory, Short Path Distillery rises from the ashes of a smoke-damaged rubber mill. Despite being open for just over two months, they’re quickly shedding their “new kid on the block” title as they earn the trust of local bars and liquor stores with their unique gin and rum offerings.
After speaking with one of the co-founders, Matt Kurtzman, it quickly became clear that the small period of time they’ve been open is merely a small slice of a much longer journey. We asked him to tell the story of Short Path. His first response?
“It’s kind of obvious, and a little bit nonsensical.” (tweet this)
I like this guy already.
It all started four years ago when he and the two other cofounders, Jackson Hewlett and Zach Robinson, started Scotch Night, which, through the pooling of their money, allowed them to purchase expensive bottles of Scotch (that one person alone would be priced out of). But one Scotch Night in particular would live in infamy.
As they sat sipping their 21-year-old Glenlivet (if Matt’s memory serves him correctly), they had an epiphany: What would it take to actually make this stuff? The next day, they practically crashed Google’s servers trying to learn distilling fundamentals. They spent the following year in Jackson’s basement, testing and tweaking recipes. Eventually, they had come up with a business plan, and Short Path Distillery was born.
So, how did drinking Scotch lead to the inception of a gin and rum distillery? The answer is actually pretty clear (literally and figuratively). Because whiskey typically requires a minimum of two to three years of barrel aging, it takes a lot longer to see a return. Gin and white rum, on the other hand, don’t require any aging and can be brought to market almost immediately. Seems these guys have some business chops as well.
As passionate as Matt was about the story of Short Path, he was itching for us to get to the tasting. Didn’t have to ask us twice!
Tasting Notes: Earthy, citrus, exotic, floral, menthol finish
Unlike the London dry variety which “smacks you in the face with pine needles,” this American style cuts back a bit on the juniper and leaves room for other botanicals to round out the flavor profile. It lets you know it’s gin, without yelling it in your face. And as much as I love a good gin and tonic, I’d be hesitant to pair this high-quality gin up with anything other than a dash of dry vermouth and a couple green olives.
Tasting Notes: Bold, tropical fruits, vanilla, smooth
Admittedly, I was more excited about trying the gin, but I was pleasantly surprised after my first sip of rum. It was incredibly easy to drink. There was no bite-back. And for a second, I imagined myself sprawled out on a beach in the Caribbean.
Made with blackstrap molasses instead of the typical sugar cane, the mouthfeel is bold, almost like a Cabernet, without sacrificing any of the light and tropical flavors you expect with a rum. Since most of my rum experience in college was focused around Bacardi Limon and Captain Morgan, I never quite got into the sipping game. But after trying this dynamic offering from Short Path, I think it’s time to reconsider.
Despite only being open for a few months, it’s obvious that this is the beginning of something special. Not only does Short Path Distillery make a great product, but they understand the inner workings of their business, and have embraced their spot in the Everett community. Their collaboration with Night Shift Brewing on events throughout the summer have already shown that. It’s only a matter of time before Short Path earns its spot on more and more bar and liquor store shelves. And, for the folks at BevSpot, that’s a wonderful thing!
Tasting Room Hours
Saturday, September 19
Short Path & Nightshift Brewing