Bridget Firtle did not take the expected route into craft distilling. Before she opened up The Noble Experiment in Bushwick in 2012, she worked for a hedge fund where she became involved with giant alcohol corporations. Ironically, that's where the passion for craft spirits began. Since she always dreamed of running her own business, the idea to open a distillery came naturally.
A native New Yorker, Bridget named her distillery The Noble Experiment (which is a nod to the nickname for Prohibition) and began producing a white rum that she called Owney's.
Owney's is named for Owen Madden, an infamous Prohibtion-era gangster and bootlegger. He owned some speakeasies in Harlem and was nicknamed the Killer (for obvious reasons). He was also notorious for being a rum runner smuggling Caribbean rum into New York. He may have been the one to re-introduce rum to these shores. And Bridget has named her complex white rum after him.
White rum is not often produced in the US anymore (although once upon a time it was the most popular local spirit), which is part of why Bridget wanted to focus on it. She sources all natural molasses from independent sugarcane farms in Florida and Louisiana. She also uses NYC tap water, which most agree is the best in the world. Along with a special yeast strain, these three ingredients make up the unique, dry white rum. Quite different than the mass-produced rums most people have been exposed to.
On Saturdays, the distillery is open for tastings and tours at 2pm and 5pm - reserve tickets here. Or you can stop by the beautiful spacious bar for a traditional daiquiri or other classic cocktail. The Noble Experiment is a potential stop on our brand new Brewery Winery Distillery tour. It's located in an industrial neighborhood of Bushwick that is quite off-the-beaten path, but once here, you can leave the busy city behind and enter a world of delicious rum.
We often run into Bridget giving tastings at Astor Wine, where Owney's is sold, when we stop by during our Craft Cocktail Tour. It's great to meet her, taste her rum, and at that point, most of the group leave with a bottle in hand.
The rum is dry and complex which some may find surprising for a white rum. It holds up really well on its own and in cocktails. Bridget has found something she is passionate about and perfected it. We also like to support the only all-female owned distillery in the city. We applaud her risk-taking of leaving her cushy job and jumping into the craft distilling world. And, of course, we're also quite happy to enjoy her rum.
The Noble Experiment,
23 Meadow Street
Brooklyn, New York 11206