When I found out that my next work trip would take me to Baltimore, Maryland, I began to search for a cool activity to do. I like to try to do at least 1 new thing at each city I visit for work. The wonderful world of the internet led me to Sagamore Distillery, located in the Port Covington area.
Sagamore first opened up its distillery for tours in 2017 and offers tours every day from Tuesday to Sunday. The tour lasts about an hour long and starts with a bit of history on whiskey making in Maryland. I learned that Maryland was one of the biggest whiskey makers in America with 44 distilleries before Prohibition. During WWII, all the distilleries were turned into ethanol gas factories to produce gas for the war. None of the distilleries were converted back. Sagamore is trying to put Maryland back on the map of whiskey making, with their own unique blend of rye whiskey.
The tour takes you through Sagamore’s 22,000-square-foot distillery building. The process begins in one of their 6,500-gallon fermenting tanks. My tour guide showed me a tank that was 2 days into the fermentation process and then another tank that was 3 days into the process.
The wash (or beer), after the fermentation process is completed, is then siphoned into their 40-foot mirrored-finish copper column still for the distillation process.
The distilled whiskey is then poured into new, charred oak barrels to age. All whiskey are required to be aged for a minimum of 2 years. Sagamore ages their rye whiskey for 4 years. The tour also takes you to the processing plant, where they fill their unique 6-sided bottles and the signature Sagamore label is pressed on.
The tour then ends in the tasting room, where you get to taste four different kinds of whiskey – a pre-aging version of the whiskey that is tempered to be a lower proof, their signature 83 proof whiskey, an experimental whiskey where they additionally aged it in a pinot noir cask, and a super strong cask strength. My tour guide was super informative and walked me through each tasting.
If you’re taking the tour later in the day, definitely stop by and grab a bite to eat at their restaurant, Rye Street Tavern. The cocktails are really good and the food is phenomenal.
I’d like to throw in an honorary mention to Ida B’s Table, which was my favorite meal of my trip. Their menu of “new” soul food was s pure delight.
And of course, no trip to Baltimore would be complete without a walk to the Inner Harbor to look at the ships!