Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 7:09 PM MST
There is a copper mine nearby that keeps making news of the most unique kind. Well, it really isn't a "copper mine" in the manner you would expect. In fact, it is a beautiful copper still that produces award winning spirits. Now, when you think of "still," images of a backwoods moonshine apparatus comes to mind. Think again. This "still" is an artisan and hand-hammered German unit that is part of the overall state of the art equipment of the Desert Diamond Distillery located in Kingman, Arizona.
A little backdrop. John and Peter Patt decided to get into the distillery business and create high quality spirits. They thought Las Vegas would be a perfect spot for such a distillery until they came face to face with the, then, restrictive laws and rules of Nevada regarding such enterprises (kind of ironic that a state with legalized prostitution would throw barriers in the way of someone wanting to distill spirits).
The Patts decided that close to Las Vegas was going to have to do and found out Arizona was a bit easier to deal with as far as regulations are concerned. So, in 2010, after purchasing top of the line distilling equipment from Germany, they opened Desert Diamond Distillery in a facility north of Kingman in the Kingman Airport complex. Right from the go they knew they were onto something for their dark rum won a bronze award in a competition in San Francisco that included some of the best Caribbean producers in the world. They continued to experiment, win more awards, and create interesting rums and vodkas, eventually producing one of their signature creations, their Gold Miner Agave Rum. They thought it would be kind of interesting to create a rum utilizing ingredients with a Southwest flair and came up with agave as an added punch to their recipe. The result has been a hit.
Now they have a new product, unveiled on January 28, when they tapped the first barrel of their premium Barrel Reserve Rum. The first official tasting was toasted and celebrated with a dinner for friends and family.
The new Barrel Reserve Rum is just that. Rum that has been aged in oak barrels until John Patt declares it ready. The label of each new bottle of the premium rum is stamped with the family seal to create a one-of-a-kind old fashion look. Each label also contains the barrel and bottle number so you know the exact origin of your bottle of hand-crafted premium rum. The distillery is currently offering the first 50 bottles at collector prices: Bottle #1, $500; Bottle #2, $450; Bottle #3, $400; Bottle #4, $350; and Bottle #5, $30. Bottles #6 through #50 are $79.99. All bottles numbered #1-#50 will be signed by John and Peter Patt. Bottles #51 and up are $39.99. One of the good things about Desert Diamond Distillery is you can tour the facility, learn how the spirits are created, see the beautiful copper kettle and then sample the creations in the tasting room (which sports a unique bar that came from Andre's Bar in Las Vegas, a fond hangout for Frank Sinatra and other celebrities).
Touring... The tasting room is open with tours available on Mondays through Saturdays. There is a $5 tour charge which is applicable as credit for any purchase in their show room. For further information on the tours, the premium barrel rum or other questions, call 928-757-7611; or visit desertdiamonddistillery.com; or visit them on Facebook. Taking the tour and sampling the spirits is the easy part. Getting there takes a little bit more effort. The distillery is located at 4875 Olympic Drive, Kingman. But that tells you nothing. To get there, take the Route 66/Andy Devine exit off I-40 and head east for four miles. This gets you to the Kingman Airport where you take a right on Airport Drive. Go straight through the four-way stop and go over the railroad tracks. Take the next right (there is a small sign pointing to the distillery). Desert Diamond Distillery is in the red building on the left side of the street.
3250 E. Kino Ave 2nd FL
Kingman, AZ 86409