“Craft distillers use different ingredients to give their spirits
unique flavors and tastes, which helps in creating separation from
other distillers,” says Willsey. For example, the distillery’s Romeo
Rum includes a molasses versus traditional sugarcane, which
provides a more distinct and richer flavor. The distillery also
offers Victor Vodka, Lima Charlie Limoncello, Mike Moonshine,
Golf Gin and Whiskey.
Bully Boy Distillers’ Willis brothers were inspired to go
into the distilling business after uncovering the history of their
childhood home and family farm. During Prohibition, the farm
was home to a collection of local artisan spirits stored in a vault
in the farmhouse basement. With names such as “Medford
Rum” and “Cow Whiskey,” these precursors to today’s craft
spirits were harsh and undrinkable, but they had character.
About 70 years after Prohibition was abolished, the vault was
rediscovered, and the brothers decided to continue the legacy
of artisan distilling in Massachusetts.
Paying particular attention to the caliber of ingredients
used in its products, Bully Boy hand-produces spirits in small
batches, emphasizing quality over quantity. “We’re creating an
intimacy between the consumer and the producer,” says Dave
Willis. “Anytime you make something in small quantities,
there are fewer layers of bureaucracy separating it from the
person making the stuff and the person consuming it.”
Bully Boy Distillers has a 150-gallon still, which yields
approximately 120 bottles, so it’s not a huge commitment to design
a signature spirit for a user. “We can create a one-on product
exclusively for a restaurant or retail store,” says Will Willis.
They even tie in their brand to Boston’s historic roots. For
example, Boston Rum grew out of their desire to resurrect the
city’s storied history of rum production, which dates back to
1667. Colonial Americans had a healthy appetite for rum, and
much of the original spirit was distilled in Boston. Made with
blackstrap molasses, Boston Rum has a bold flavor created by
using deeper cuts on the still. It’s aged in bourbon/red wine
barrels, and the final product has a fruity complexity, a subtle
vanilla note and a bit of sweetness.
There’s also American Straight Whiskey rather than Kentucky
whiskey. Bully Boy’s aged whiskey uses corn, rye and malted
barley as its primary ingredients, and is aged in new American
oak barrels. The corn makes for a subtle sweetness and the high
rye content creates a dry spiciness. The flavors are further refined
through the barrel-aging process, which imparts both a prominent
caramel note and a nutty finish.
Inspired by the original Hub Punch recipe popular in the late
1800s, Bully Boy Hub Punch is barrel-aged rum infused with fruits
and botanicals. Originally concocted at the now defunct Hub Hotel,
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