What We Mean by Craft

Boyd & Blair Vodka Bottle

Under the direction of Master Distiller, Barry Young, Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries is committed to taking the unexpected approach in creating truly authentic handcrafted spirits.  Using locally sourced ingredients, our spirits are created to stand out in a market cluttered with mediocrity, to demonstrate true craftsmanship in distilling. To ensure quality in taste, Young uses his “unique Instinct Palate Distillation method”, which means that the determining factor as to when the distillation process is complete is purely based off of taste and his instinct alone. There is no automation involved whatsoever in this process.

Family owned and operated, our team (which is an extension of our family) does everything from creating our own potato mash to screen printing, bottling, sealing and signing every bottle by hand.

It’s personal, detailed, labor-intensive work that creates spirits worthy of every one of the 5-stars we’ve received —that’s what we mean by craft.

Choosing the right ingredients

Right from our backyard

Using only the finest Pennsylvania-grown potatoes and family-made molasses, we pride ourselves in using the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients to distill our portfolio of award-winning spirits.

Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka is distilled from 100% PA grown and harvested potatoes. It’s more expensive and takes far more skill to coax vodka from potatoes than it does from grain or corn, but we know that potatoes make a far superior craft spirit that boasts a natural sweetness that grain and corn simply don’t have. Plus, potatoes create a creamier, more pleasing mouth feel.

We maintained the same high standards when selecting ingredients for our BLY Silver Rum. While other distillers use choose to use straight sugar, we use rich, dark supreme baking molasses, because it adds deep tones of vanilla and butterscotch. Our molasses is sourced from a family-run company in Honey Brook, PA, where they’ve been making molasses for more than 80 years.

When sourcing our ingredients, we are proud to support local farmers and businesses who take as much pride in their crops and products as we do in handcrafted spirits.

Potato Farmer
Potatoes
Barry in the Lab

Our Process

Be better, bolder

And never take the easy way out

There are three parts to distilling vodka: heads, hearts and tails. Like whiskey, the heads get dumped, and the hearts? That’s where the magic is. They’re the sweetest, purest, most delicious part of the vodka. The tails are where the batch starts to degrade and make your taste buds cringe.

Those bad-tasting tails? We dump those down the drain, too. While other vodka distillers may mix those tails back into the hearts, then distill the batch several more times to scrub some of the impurities and bad taste and create more (lower quality) yield. So if you ever hear a vodka say, it’s “5 to 7 times distilled,” now you know why.

At Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries, we only bottle the hearts and never the tails. This leads to smaller batches that create a final product that pays respect and homage to the quality ingredients and time spent to craft our award-winning vodka.

Our Rum is also crafted using an unconventional distillation process created by our Master Distiller. During this unique mash method, the molasses is gently stirred, heated, but not cooked or rushed to prevent scorching and a burnt tasting spirit. Instead we use warm water that has been recycled from the cooling process of our still to thin the molasses out. The process is longer, however it yields a more quality spirit resulting in our 5-star silver rum.

Vodka Jigger
BLY Mojito
Cocktail Party

Here, craft isn’t a marketing slogan.

It’s our obsession.

In our book, “hand-crafted” doesn’t meet a finger touching a button on a production line. Or someone running the machine that pastes labels.

Here, it means this:

Master Distiller Barry Young and his crew unload, prep and mix the ingredients AND taste, smell and scrutinize every batch of Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka, BLY Silver Rum and Boyd & Blair 151 Professional that come from our distillery.

Labor intensive? Yeah. Hot as hell in the summertime? Sure. Worth every ounce of every bottle? That’s what we mean by craft.

Quality Control
Hand-dipping the bottles
Boxing the Bottles

One of the World’s Few 3-time, 5-star Master Distillers

Barry Young

It’s not a title. It’s a calling.

Some want to be distillers for money. Some want to distill for fame.

Barry does it for originality and flavor.

Barry has more than 20-years-experience as a pharmacist and chemist. So, he knows all about coming up with new formulas. Distilling is no different. He simply took a look at the “traditional” way of doing things and decided he could do far better.

And so he has. With the mind of a scientist and the soul of a craftsman, Barry has created some of the finest, truly hand-crafted spirits in the world.

You don’t need to know the formula. The taste alone will tell.

The Lab
Barry at the Still
Hand Labeling
Bottles on Display