You walk into the “establishment” at the corner of Dorchester on Lundy’s Lane. Your hat brimmed pulled way down low. You walk up to the secret entrance. But just before you give the secret password, you hear someone from over your shoulder yell out from behind you – Hey you? You turn around slowly. Was that a table for three?
We just walked in for our whisky tasting at “The Syndicate” …. Part of the Niagara Falls Craft Distillery…. But, it’s also a step back in time to when bootlegging, rum running and prohibition of course did not exist – nudge nudge wink wink. Al Capone, was here in spirit (and spirits) as his words regarding the subject of niche marketing, greet me to the end of a hallway.
Is it? A speakeasy door opens up easily without a password, and reveals this establishment’s “hidden secret”. An upstairs restaurant, a bar fully stocked with, ahem, products of a distilled nature, for the local and visiting gentry. As well, and they have full window access to what’s really going on here… the brewery and distillery.
It’s an exciting time at Niagara Falls Craft Distillery for it’s in between locations, so to speak… easy.
They are getting a bigger distillery operational with more stills ready to deliver their boutique whiskies.
Today though, it was whisky tasting time in the speakeasy.
Besides a 4-year old 100% rye, Barreling Annie Rye and a maple whisky, NFCD also make a 5-times distilled vodka and a Small Batch London dry gin – which is miles away and far tastier than the blind-inducing bathtub variety of prohibition days.
If you wish to edify your palate even further, one can ask for one (or perhaps more) signature cocktails, created specifically for their spirits.
The bar was set up for what seemed expressly for us and gave the feeling of being in a prohibition speakeasy - away from Johnny Law's prying eyes - although everything was above board.
It was a relaxing, educational and tasty afternoon that ranged from talking about the process to tasting the end result.
A little boutique is also set up so should you feel so inclined to purchase a bottled item or two. You can even buy a small branded barrel to bring home and age your whisky even further.
Niagara Falls is known for it’s natural wonder along with romantic B&Bs. But it also has a deep, rich and delicious history. You’ll find a lot of it at the Niagara Falls Craft Distillery Speakeasy inside the Syndicate Restaurant.
When you do drop by for a visit, just tell them… Al sent you... in spirit anyway.
Note - a shout out, thank you and cheers to Andy Murison, Chief Bootlegger at Niagara Falls Craft Distillery for setting this all up for us.