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What the Ale: New distilling company opens in midtown Tulsa
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What the Ale: New distilling company opens in midtown Tulsa

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An area near Seventh Street and Utica Avenue will be home to a new distillery, in addition to two breweries.

Hunter Stone Gambill started Oklahoma Distilling Co., 1724 E. Seventh St., which is just across the street from the soon-to-open Cabin Boys Brewing Co. and just down the street from Marshall Brewing Co.

The company’s first product, Indian Grass Oklahoma Vodka, should be arriving in stores at any time.

“This is our first brand and our first product,” Gambill said. “We want every product to have something unique to Oklahoma and it not just be another ubiquitous product on the shelf. We want it to stand out.

“Indian grass is Oklahoma’s state grass. We actually have a piece of Oklahoma grass in the bottle, which over time gives it a very, very subtle grass flavor, nothing super noticeable, but if you let it sit long enough, it will hit you ever so slightly.”

The water used to make vodka will have a flavor. Oklahoma Distillery is sourcing its water from Jet, Oklahoma, from a spring that was formed during the last ice age. They are calling the water Oklahoma Ice Age water.

“It has a slight salinity to it, which gives our vodka a really fresh taste. We 10-times charcoal filter it. What we are going for is a super, ultra smooth vodka with a very clean taste,” he said.

There are plans for other products when the still arrives from Poland. The company will make a rum called Rose Rock Rum. It will be using Oklahoma rose rocks and sandstone to filter the white rum.

It also plans to make a coffee liqueur with beer malts as the sweetener.

In a few months, it will be planning to distribute Oklahoma Cream, a whiskey-based drink with pecan flavor, which will have a slightly sweet flavor. That is something you can mix with the liqueur or use it to make a latte.

The company also plans to purchase craft whiskeys to mix with its whiskey and to barrel-age them for up to four years. Oklahoma Standard and Territory Rye will be the names of the blended drinks.

The whiskeys will be called Rectifier Standard and Rectifier Select. Rectifier Select will be an ultra-premium product with whiskeys that have been aged eight to 12 years.

Gambill isn’t new to distilling or to world travel. He and his wife arrived back in Tulsa last June after being abroad for seven years and started the process of getting the required permits and licenses from the federal and state government, as well as the ABLE Commission.

“From start to finish, we are trying to get up and running as quickly as possible,” Gambill said.

His past life includes working with AmeriCorps, then being an assistant food and beverage manager for three Las Vegas casinos. He learned about fermentation at Oregon State University.

He wanted to start a distillery after getting his MBA at Oregon State, but with lack of funds, he decided to take an adventure. He traveled to Guatemala and then to China, where he became a third-grade teacher and then a principal. He traveled to more than 50 countries on his adventure and still had time to do some distilling for friends while in China. Thinking about the future, he decided to move back to Tulsa.

If you would like to try Oklahoma Distilling Co. offerings, it will have tastings at the following locations:

Tulsa Hills Wine Cellar, 7422 S. Olympia Ave., at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24; and Parkhill’s Liquors & Wine South, 10018 S. Memorial Drive on Dec. 2.

Contact the stores to make reservations for the tastings.

Tom Gilbert

918-581-8349

tom.gilbert@tulsaworld.com

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I joined the Tulsa World in 1988 after graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma. I lived in Saudi Arabia before graduating from Broken Arrow High School. I'm married to Karen Gilbert and have three grown children. Phone: 918-581-8349

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