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BBD Rochester Style Whiskey Logo

Rochester Style bourbon making.

BBD Rochester Style Whiskey Logo

Rochester Style bourbon making is unique to Black Button Distilling. Literally, nobody in the whole world makes bourbon the way Black Button does. It’s a combination of our equipment, process, ingredients, and climate that defines the special Rochester Style of Black Button Bourbon.

For more information on the Rochester Style of whiskey making, read our blog Behind the Still: Rochester Style Bourbon. 


Most distilleries have either a pot or column still. Pot stills make small batches of spirits that are cold in the morning, heat up through out the day and cool again the next night. Column stills are more efficient and run continuously. While they produce higher volumes, it’s harder to control the variables of the run. They do however make cleaner whiskey which is sometimes good but can detract from flavor development. Black Button Distilling’s equipment was custom designed by our Master Distiller Jason Barrett and then heavily modified by our distilling team to increase flavor while maintaining the purity of the whiskey. We call this a Column to Pot to Column system.


Double Pass Distillation is the process of running whiskey through a still twice. Scotch and Irish Whiskey is made this way and so was American Whiskey along the frontier 100 years ago. Here in Rochester at Black Button Distilling, we still practice Double Pass Distillation but with a twist. Our unique Column to Pot to Column process allows for the purity and efficiencies of a column to remove the beginning, or “Heads”, and end, or “Tails” of a run – but keep the middle, or “Hearts”, which are full of flavor and complexity. Almost nobody else can make whiskey this way as the equipment is so unusual to set up. But we think it makes for the most flavorful whiskey around.


The ingredients we use are another unique factor that contributes to the Rochester Style of Black Button Distilling’s Bourbon. As a licensed Farm Distillery, 100% of Black Button’s whiskey ingredients are sourced from within 50 miles of the distillery to make its Bourbon.

Edgewood Farms in Groveland, NY is 48 miles south of Black Button in the famous Finger lakes Region – an area known for its nutrient rich soil resulting from prehistoric glacial deposits. The grains grown by Edgewood lend their own unique flavor profile to every barrel of Black Button Bourbon. There are places on the Edgewood’s farm where the topsoil is over 400 feet deep, and the nutrients are so rich that they can grow heirloom varieties of grains including the Danko Rye we use to craft our Empire Rye Whiskey.

Hemlock Lake is one of the Finger Lakes and is 36 miles away from the distillery and the source for 100% of Black Button’s water. Filtered through limestone and shale formations specific to Western New York, Hemlock Lake offers a pristine quality of water that cannot be found anywhere else

Murmuration Malts is 25 miles from Black Button in Bloomfield NY. Murmuration Malts is an artisanal malt house that malts the barley used in Black Button Bourbon. A family-owned sustainable business, Murmuration uses a single vessel malt system to process some of the highest quality New York State malts available. Better malt means that we get more sugar conversion from the corn, wheat, and rye as well as a depth of flavor not seen in mass produced grains.

Adirondack Barrel Cooperage in Remsen is just outside of New York’s Adirondack State Park. The supplier of our premium American White Oak Barrels, Adirondack Barrel Cooperage air dries their precision milled barrels for 36 months. Their charring and toasting process produces consistent toast and char levels from barrel to barrel which were hand chosen by our master distillers after dozens of trials.

rochester whiskey
Edgewood Farms in Groveland, NY


Annual temperature fluctuation impacts our bourbon’s aging process in a way that cannot be replicated in the more temperate southern regions. Weather patterns impacted by the Great Lakes of Erie and Ontario as well as Western New York’s latitude means our bourbon experiences the changing of the seasons. Both the deep cold of Winter and heat of Summer favorably impact the barrel aging process of our bourbon. With temperature fluctuations of 20°F or more, the staves of each barrel expand, and contract more than barrels do in more famous whiskey producing areas like Kentucky or Scotland. This allows for a quicker evaporation of volatile compounds and deeper exposure of the caramelization layer of the charred oak.

Please join us in raising a glass and enjoying the essence of Rochester Style Bourbon… Straight from New York.

Dive Deeper

For more information on the Rochester Style of whiskey making, check out our blog: Behind the Still: Rochester Style Bourbon

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Upcoming Event


Join us in celebrating all things Rye with a special screening of Fire, Water & Grain: The Story of Empire Rye while sipping on a Rye Old Fashioned and nibbling on Rye Ravioli!

Fee Brothers Bitters Event

Upcoming Event

Meet the Makers

Black Button Distilling and Fee Brothers Bitters proudly present our first ever collaboration: Citrus Forward Gin Barrel-Aged Citrus Bitters.