Boston Harbor Distillery

Still Life

Spirits and Cigars in a 19th-Century Factory

Dc934e67d2c7aacad57ba9a15e7ba99010 PhotosBoston Harbor Distillery
Dear UrbanDaddy, where does alcohol come from?
—Curious in Quincy

From a place like Boston Harbor Distillery, a vast cathedral of spirits where your activities include viewing a massive still, sipping spirits and smoking JFK’s favorite cigar, opening tomorrow at the Port on Boston Harbor.

This was a factory back in 1859. Hence the brick walls and 40-foot ceiling. But offsetting all that factory-ness is a sprawling lounge with tartan chairs and a copper-topped bar. Like the set of a Boardwalk Empire episode that never was (slideshow with great abandon).

You may notice a 150-gallon still behind a glass wall. That’s the distillery part. You’ll take your tour. Then you’ll find yourself in the “Apothecary,” where you can handle their grains and taste their molasses.

Your journey ends at the bar with flights of their inaugural offerings—a coffee liqueur and a light and a dark Lawley’s New England Spirit made with fermented molasses and Vermont maple syrup. And when their pouring license comes, they’ll be making full cocktails.

You may also notice a glass case full of cigars. Know that 1) they’re selling and cutting them, and 2) they’re carrying JFK’s favorite brand.

Hint: it’s not Swisher.

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