New Scotch Spirits is the culmination of a childhood ambition, distilled from grains sourced from the very same fields on which New Scots annually gather to watch Memorial Day fireworks.
Founded in 2016, the story nonetheless begins three decades earlier, in a Kindergarten classroom comprised of the very same faces who stare out from the pages of the senior year yearbook.
To all of our far-flung friends:
This is our way of giving you a piece of home to take with you… to sip, to remember, to enjoy.
New Scotch Spirits is committed to crafting locally-sourced spirits that honor our native New Scotland. Utilizing the finest grains grown on the fields of our hometown—distilled in the heart of Albany County—we work in tandem with friends and local farmers to bring the taste of rural upstate New York to the world beyond our borders. Infused with a sense of place and the “terroir” of times gone by, we proudly present to you an American spirit with a New Scottish soul.
The MODERN History of New Scotland
Though settled around 1660, the Town of New Scotland was officially founded in 1832 from the western portion of neighboring Bethlehem in Albany County. At just under 60 square miles and boasting a close-knit community of about 8,700 New Scots, the Town incorporates several smaller municipalities (chief among them the Village of Voorheesville, but also including Clarksville, Feura Bush, New Salem, Tarrytown, Unionville, Feura Bush, Meads Corner, and Wolf Hill).
New Scotland derives its name from the large population of Scottish settlers who settled in the area in the quarter-century immediately preceding the American Revolution. One of the primary drivers of that Scottish emigration was the sudden failure of the London banking house of Neale, James, Fordyce and Downe—a socioeconomic catastrophe known as “Black Monday” (June 12, 1772)—which brought financial disaster to thousands of Scottish citizens.
(LEARN MORE! Become a member of the New Scotland Historical Association!)
Today, residents of New Scotland proudly declare themselves to be “New Scots”. They claim a distinct “New Scottish identity” that pays homage to rural values, honors agrarian lifestyles, and celebrates the small-town community ethos that exemplifies the best of America’s promise.
“The Pat & Jesse Show”
Patrick and Jesse have been lifelong friends; New Scotch Spirits is only their latest creative venture. Growing up together in the Town of New Scotland, they developed a shared and signature sense of irreverent humor which found ample outlet in the Voorheesville Central School District. Known to classmates as “The Pat & Jesse Show”, their shtick was memorialized in the underground newspaper they published throughout high school, until they took their literary exploits mainstream to become the first co-editors of The Hederbarker, Voorheesville’s school newspaper.
In their college years, these two New Scottish expatriates adapted the satire and journalism of their high school publications for radio, developing a syndicated comedy talk show at their respective colleges. Each week, they would trade “bits” for broadcast to their local audiences and for friends back home. During summers back in New Scotland, they continued their exploits on local radio stations in and around Albany County, and additionally formed a band that performed raucous original parody music on the late-night open mic stages in New York State’s capital city.
In each of their past endeavors, Pat and Jesse have sought to celebrate the New Scottish experience, honoring the rural “small town” values that enriched their upbringing. Now, displaying the same tireless work ethic that has always defined their past extracurriculars, Pat and Jesse are at it again… crafting a product specifically for their neighbors, and to anyone who cherishes a sense of community.
Proud New Scots both, Patrick and Jesse are excited to share a piece of their upstate New York home with anyone who enjoys a great American spirit.
The Genesis of New Scotch Spirits
In 2015, Pat and Jesse were a continent apart; Patrick was thriving in California’s bustling tech sector while Jesse was stationed with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Capitalizing on Jesse’s visit west soon after New Year 2016, he and Pat met in Sonoma to reminisce about good times past. It was there that Patrick regaled Jesse with his newfound knowledge of craft beers and his aptitude for home brewing, sharing the fruits of his labors atop a scenic mountain overlooking a picturesque valley—a scene similar to the view of Albany from the hills of New Scotland.
As Pat explained his passion for the science of home brewing, Jesse was struck with an idea: could Pat brew a beer from the grains of their hometown? Momentarily evaluating the prospect, Pat suggested that a liquor might be more feasible.
But what would you call an alcohol derived from New Scotland....?
Ergo, New Scotch Spirits was born. Distilled from New Scottish grains grown on the fields of their youth, Pat and Jesse have invested years into the heartwarming vision of their fellow New Scots gathering together on cold winter nights and warm summer’s eves to imbibe the fruits of their community.
That mountaintop meeting in 2016 epitomizes what the founders of New Scotch Spirits seek to give everyone: a reason for friends to come together and embrace that sense of belonging, in celebration of the people and places which make us who we are.
Activities / Events
Further develop our agricultural efforts to fortify the New Scottish grain crops needed to make spirits.
Distill tertiary production runs of our aged spirits, including Auld Lang Syne, Heldeberg Whiskey, and Bourbon (name soon to be released).
Film and release the New Scotland music video—performed and recorded by local musicians.
Orchestrate the Voorheesville, NY memorial day parade New Scotch Spirits float, followed by Lemon Lime Kiln Farm Vodka release party.
Spirits Release Schedule
2021: Auld Lange Syne Whiskey
and Lemon Lime Kiln Vodka
2022: Helderberg Rye Whiskey
2023: Bourbon (name soon to be released)
*For the brand release schedule through 2029, shoot us an email! We’d be happy to give you a preview.