Doc Porter’s distillery opens in South End today. Here’s what you need to know

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North Carolina actually has a long history with its “small batch” and “grain-to-glass” distilled beverages. Of course, most of that history is illegal and many of those beverages fell somewhere between pretty awful and legitimately dangerous to drink.

Today, Charlotte gets its first legal — and very smooth — taste of a grain-to-glass distillery when Doc Porter’s opens in South End.

The craft distillery, run by husband and wife team Andrew and Liz Porter, features a vodka made from grains from Marshville farmer Jamie Austin. And they’re not stopping at vodka. They’re experimenting with spices for a gin and already have the barrels to age whiskey.

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The Porters (the distillery is named for Andrew’s grandfather), are an incredibly welcoming and friendly couple. This is important because they’ll be the ones offering tours of the facility. Taking the tour is important because that’s how you get to taste the vodka. And tasting the vodka is important because it’s delicious.

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You’re probably thinking that no one calls vodka delicious unless they’ve had too much vodka. But this one is buttery and smooth and good enough that drinking it chilled and straight is actually an enjoyable experience.

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Ready to try it for yourself? Here’s what you need to know:

– 45-minute tours are $10 per person and include a tasting and a Doc Porter’s shot glass. They’re offered on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and can be booked in advance online.
– If you go on the tour, you can purchase one bottle of the vodka for $29.95. (NC law allows them to sell one bottle per customer, per year.)
– If you can’t make it to the distillery or just want more bottles, check your ABC store. 360 bottles of the first batch are being distributed in Mecklenburg County.

Doc Porter’s, 232 East Peterson Dr., Charlotte.

Photos: Sarah Crosland; Robert Lahser/Charlotte Observer

Video: Kennan Banks

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