Distiller Ned Wight
can trace his heritage through a long line of distillers, starting with his great-great-great-grandfather John Jacob Wight, who ran the Sherwood Distillery
in Hunt Valley, Maryland in the 1850s. The family business shuttered in 1958, and the legacy seemed lost to the annals of time. That is, until Wight?a former brewer at Allagash Brewing Co.?moved the operation and opened New England Distilling in Portland. Wight has filled his distillery with a blend of new and old-fashioned equipment, from a custom-built traditional copper pot still to barrel racks salvaged from his ancestral distillery.
Wight's spirits, like his distilling process, are an exercise in creative fusion. Each spirit's unique flavor comes from New England grain combined with
recipes from around
the world. This trio of craft spirits includes Gunpowder Rye, a spicy Maryland-style whiskey caramelized in the copper pot still, Ingenium Gin, a Dutch-style sipping gin made with exotic Southeast Asian botanicals, and Eight Bells Rum, crafted with Caribbean molasses and aged in bourbon barrels. Their unusual characteristics?and Wight's unorthodox operation?have earned praise from publications such as Maine Magazine.