About halfway down the western side of Cayuga Lake lies one of the region’s latest distilleries, Myer Farm Distillers. This distillery is producing some fine spirits created from grain grown on its own organic farm. A trip to their tasting room gave us the opportunity to try the products and share a bit of their history.
The beautiful tasting room and distillery is modeled after the look of traditional Scottish malt houses, with a pagoda-topped still-house finished with hand-cut stone. The interior is just as nice, with an interesting angular tasting bar, well lit merchandise shelves, and a view directly into the distillery. We spoke with Lyndsay about Myer Farm Distillery and the various spirits we had a chance to try. Below are the spirits we chose to sample on our visit.
- 80 Proof, 100% Myer Farm organic soft white winter wheat.
- Soft and clean, a sweet finish.
- 86.6 Proof, 100% Myer Farm organic corn.
- Made from heirloom Wapsie Valley corn. Smooth and a bit like cornbread.
- 88.4 Proof, 100% Myer Farm organic soft white winter wheat.
- Can really taste the wheat in this. Nice finish.
- 90 Proof, A blend of corn, rye, and whiskey.
- Sweet and very flavorful. Intriguingly complex aroma and taste.
- 90 Proof, Mostly rye with a quartet of other grains.
- Spicy, intense, with zesty citrus notes.
- 90 Proof, Aged for one year.
- Soft, and more floral then the rye whiskey. I like it but prefer the rye whiskey as it had a more intense flavor.
It should be noted that New York State law allows you to sample only three spirits, so do not expect to try everything they have to offer. For three dollars, you can try three one-ounce pours of their spirits. We did not have a chance to try the gin, which is considered their most popular. I did smell it though, and it is very fragrant, with lots of coriander in the nose. Certainly a nice change of pace from most gins that predominately smell and taste like Juniper!
The distillery opened in October of 2012. It is a fifth generation farm, and the land being farmed has been used since 1868. The farm has been fully organic since 1979, and today covers about a thousand acres of corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, and more. The still they use in the distillery holds 650 liters and was imported from Germany. Vodka was the first spirit they produced but today whiskey and gin are also created. The distillery keeps everything local and uses many regional ingredients besides their own grain, including the blueberries added to the Blueberry Orange Vodka. All their products are available in Ithaca, NY with some being shipped to other liquor stores around New York.
Overall, I was pretty impressed with the quality of spirits that Myer Farm Distillers produces. I think we will see many farms start distilling their grain and corn into spirits, as there is more profit to be made from spirits rather then just selling the raw products. In today’s world, more people care about the food they eat and where it comes from. Being all organic is an important factor that, for many, will make this distiller stand out from the competition. I look forward to returning in the future to see what other spirits they decide to craft or have had time to age.
Distilling is definitely in the blood of the Myer family. Their ancestors, Andrew Dunlap and his brother-in-law Joseph Wilson, settled the town of Ovid in 1789. Andrew was credited with being the first to plow the land in all of Seneca County. According to public records, they also are shown to have the earliest known distilleries in the town and region.
Myer Farm Distillers
7350 State Route 89, Ovid, NY 14521
Visited November 27, 2013
Blog post written by Thomas Andersen.