Traverse City Restaurants Debut First Ever Single Cask Gin Selection

Traverse City Restaurants Debut First Ever Single Cask Gin Selection
Award-winning, Valentine Liberator Old Tom Gin Comes to Trattoria Stella and The Franklin

Ferndale, MI – Traverse City restaurants Trattoria Stella and The Franklin of Off the Map Hospitality (OTMH) will add the exclusive barrel release of Valentine Distilling Co.’s Liberator Old Tom Gin to its spirits offerings in June. Valentine Distilling Co. released the exclusive single barrel Liberator Old Tom Gin to restaurant owner and sommelier Amanda Danielson in admiration of her dedication to a guest’s dining experience.

“Amanda is a pioneer of the farm-to-table movement in restaurants and in Michigan.

I truly believe and appreciate that Amanda recognizes that the dining experience begins with the guest’s entrance to the restaurant and consumption of their first cocktail,” said Rifino Valentine, Founder and President, Valentine Distilling Co. “First impressions are a real thing and really define the experience of the dining patron. I applaud her for her dedication and investment in the hospitality industry throughout the years.”

With the tagline “Good food. High Spirits.,” OTMH captures the fine cuisine meets small-batched spirits standards of its establishments.  “We are quality in everything we do. Food, drink, service, environment, experience,” stated Amanda Danielson, partner in OTMH.  She sets the bar high through consistency and maintains it for each guests’ experience.

“This barrel of the Liberator Old Tom Gin is completely unique and amazing. It’s a crafted Michigan product from a small company owned by people who give a damn about every customer,” said Danielson. “It is precisely reflective of what we do and who we are at OTMH.”

“Hundreds of places do whiskey single barrel selections every year, The Liberator Old Tom Gin is the first exclusive gin single cask selection in Michigan and perhaps the country.  This selection is a unique addition to the restaurants’ spirits portfolio and to the gin segment in general.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a trend,” said Rifino Valentine.

“I've spent more than 20 years dissecting all things drinkable from mineral water and tea to whiskey and wine. I don't care what is popular—I care what is good. When Valentine released Liberator, it became a staple at home and at Trattoria Stella. I was at the distillery when the first batch of Old Tom was in barrel. As soon as it was released, I started buying it by the case,” said Danielson.

When asked why she chose this gin exclusive, Danielson replied, “Why not? We have several custom cocktails based on the Liberator Old Tom Gin. We now have a new expression: consistency is important, but so is nuance. It's hard to achieve the latter if you don't have the experience and skill. Valentine has both, and so do we.”

What makes this barrel so unique? This barrel was aged in new American oak barrels, just as the Liberator Old Tom Gin is, only for about a year. This gin was then transferred and finished in a used gin barrel that previously housed mead from Ferndale meadery, B. Nektar. This process gives the exclusive barrel of Liberator Old Tom Gin an edge that has never been tasted before.

The Liberator Old Tom Gin was previously named “World’s Best Cask Gin” at the World Gin Awards. It is known for its aroma of juniper and pine with hints of oak, woody spices, and citrus peel. Aged in American Oak barrels for two years, Liberator Old Tom Gin has initial bursts of juniper berries that are mellow and tame, and are followed by touches of vanilla, citrus, cardamom, and cinnamon.

OTMH welcomes those traveling to Traverse City this summer season to stop in and enjoy this exclusive gin and, of course, a bite or two as well. “We take everything from a wine dinner to a meal to the next level believing boldly in quality from beginning to end. Research, time, and dedication separates us from everyone else. We are proud of raising the bar for restaurants in Michigan every day,” said Danielson.

Trattoria Stella has been a part of the Traverse City dining scene for 13 years. It was the first restaurant to open in the old state hospital/Building 50, which is the country’s largest restoration project to date. The Franklin is located downtown in the only LEED Certified Gold building in Traverse City complete with a second-floor patio allowing guests to watch the world go by from above.


About Valentine Distilling Co.

Established in 2007 and among the nation’s first craft distilleries, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch, handcrafted spirits.  In early 2016, Valentine Vodka was announced as winner of “World’s Best Vodka” and “World’s Best Varietal” by The World Vodka Awards in London. In 2017, Valentine once again brought home the “World’s Best Varietal” vodka award. Most recently, the company received the highest honors for Mayor Pingree Blue and Black Label Bourbons from San Francisco World Spirits Competition, both earning a Double Gold.  Valentine Distilling Co. shared its first television commercial with viewers around the world to celebrate being named ‘World’s Best Vodka.” The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in seven states, Western Europe, and Ontario. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Ferndale, Michigan-based Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old world techniques that create superior products.