Getting Into the Spirits

Writer: Christina Fernández-Morrow

Photography courtesy of Revelton Distilling Co.

When Rob and Christi Taylor graduated from Louisville’s Moonshine University in 2016, they were about 60% sure they would open a distillery in Iowa. The couple started thinking about it in 2012 after attending the Kentucky Bourbon Festival and meeting the world’s most renowned distillers. It became a passion that took the Taylors all over the world visiting distilleries, meeting award-winning makers, and learning more about the process of creating high-quality spirits.

When a property came up for sale in Osceola, they knew it would be the perfect location to make their vision, Revelton Distilling Co., a reality. The problem was, the Taylors weren’t quite ready to take the plunge.

They spent the next four years continuing their research, writing a business plan, designing the space into a distillery, and making connections within the industry. They interviewed bartenders across the globe to learn what shape and size bottle provided easier pours while collecting vendor resources and investors. After four years, 60 shareholders, millions of dollars’ worth of top-grade equipment, and hundreds of hours of additional Moonshine University continuing education courses, they opened their doors last December with seven signature spirits, a beautiful lounge and bar where patrons can enjoy uniquely fashioned drinks, and a shop featuring merchandise with their logo and liquors.

The lounge is spacious, with deep blues, bright white accents and touches of gold throughout to complement the labels on their bottles. Large windows offer a glimpse into the distillery below where the spirits are made. The vibe is elegance, comfort and good times. Revelton is a sophisticated take on the word “revel,” referring to enjoying oneself with drinking and dancing. Adding to the appeal of the lounge, there’s live music Saturday evenings.

“Local beers can be some of the best beers in the world. We want people to know that local craft spirits can also be some of the best,” Christi says.

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