Atlanta's ASW Distillery: The Clear Choice

Everything is a work of art at ASW Distillery.
Slated to open in July, ASW Distillery (ASW) is an Atlanta "must do!"  Founded by Jim Chasteen and Charlie Thompson, ASW is the perfect Midtown stop  for a spirited weekend.  Their first product, a clear whiskey called American Spirit Whisey, is fabulous.  

Yes, you did read correctly, clear whiskey.  And no ... it's NOT moonshine.  Thanks to charcoal filtering and aging with oak,  American Spirit Whiskey's flavor is smooth and light.  It is perfect on the rocks, neat, in a Martini, a Bloody Mary or any cocktail usually made with vodka.  In fact, it is the ideal bridge-to-whiskey for vodka drinkers. 

I had the pleasure of meeting several of the ASW team members at the 2016 Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.  The idea of a clear whiskey piqued my curiosity, so I tried it.  Being a bourbon drinker,  I was skeptical, but after the first sip, I was most impressed.  In fact, I asked where to buy it and picked up a bottle the next day. 

The following weekend, I had a private tour of the ASW Distillery.  Chad Ralston, who is at the helm of ASW's growth and grassroots guided me through every detail of both the American Spirit Whiskey brand and ASW Distillery that will not only produce American Spirit Whiskey, but other individually branded bourbons and single malts in the years to come. 

The facility is beautiful, thanks to the lovely designs of Kelly Chasteen and architect Oliver Carter.  Clean lines and exquisite details grace your eyes upon entry.  The well-planned seating areas equipped with Wi-Fi invite you to "sit and stay a while."  Design elements include repurposed wood procured from the Old Crow distillery,  a fabulous metal door which makes a grand entry into the distillery, a chalkboard outlining the process of whiskey making and a perfectly-placed Penley painting. 

The lush , deep tones of the bar enhance the warmth of the room.  The drawers at its end are filled with corn, rye and barley to give patrons a hands-on experience to the whiskey-making process. 

Vintage pieces on display include an old typewriter,  a late 50s Polaroid camera and a pre-1920s Kentucky ballot box. 

Retail items include gorgeous Glencairn crystal tasting glasses - with or without the ASW logo, decanters, flasks, water pitchers and Yeti products.  Yes, they carry Yeti! 

I learned about sprouting barley to make mash,  the importance of temperature and water cooling,  and the difference between low wines, feints and actual spirits.  I learned about the porosity of the barrels and the aging process.  Biggest lesson learned -- never touch the fabulous Vendome copper and brass stills.  

ASW Distillery has outdoor seating in a courtyard that lends to high-quality acoustic sounds.  I sang a few notes and must say, I cannot wait to hear live music being played in that area.  

Whiskey and Wi-Fi, y'all ... it is the next intown thing to do. 


The bar at ASW Distillery.
The beautiful interior by designer Kelly Chasteen and architect Oliver Carter.
What a gem!  Perfect for this election year.
A picture-perfect late 1950s Polaroid.
The open door of Vendome Copper & Brassworks Inc. still
appears to be waiving, "Hi, y'all!"
I love the artful details of the Vendome Copper & Brassworks Inc. still.
Feints are low in alcohol, and are re-distilled.
The barrel stand is made from wood procured from the Old Crow Distillery.
The spacious courtyard with pitch-perfect acoustics.
A courtyard view of the beautiful Vendome Copper & Brassworks Inc. stills.
ASW Distillery ... Spirits crafted with character, y'all!

ASW Distillery is located in the Armour Yards neighborhood, 199 Armour Drive, Suite C, Atlanta, 30324.   SweetWater Brewery is a nearby neighbor.  For additional information, visit


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Bonnie Morét is an award-winning photographer recognized by The Georgia Council of the Arts as "an exceptional representation of contemporary Georgia art work." Her photography is featured on Georgia Public Broadcast's Georgia Traveler. Her exhibitions include Fifth Annual Exposure Awards at Musee du Louvre in Paris, France, Art Takes Miami at Scope Art during Art Basel Miami, Metro Montage XIII at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, World of Water at the Georgia Aquarium, Open Walls at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Wholly Georgia: A Look at the Effects of Southern Religious Culture, sponsored by the Art History League and Georgia State University, at Mint Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, 6x6 at the Rochester Contemporary Arts Center in Rochester, New York, @Phonography: Dialogue in the Wireless Age, at 3 Ring Circus in New Orleans, Louisiana, and About Lands and Lives of the Civil War at the 6th Cavalry Museum in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia. Her photography appears in Modern Luxury/The Atlantan, Jezebel Magazine, and hangs in the executive offices at the Georgia State Capitol as part of the Art of Georgia exhibit. Corporate clients include Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta History Center, Chanel Cosmetics, Christian Dior Cosmetics, Sharp Mountain Vineyards, PM Realty Group, Granite Properties, Road Atlanta, Patrón Tequila, StubHub, CBM Records and The Washington Auto Show.