Michigan distillery presents campfire deal with an grownup twist with S’Mores bourbon

CHELSEA, MI — If a campfire in a bottle seems desirable, then Ugly Dog Distillery may have your consume.

Nestled at 218 S. Principal St. in downtown Chelsea, Hideous Dog is a combination in-household distillery and tasting area that includes an upstairs overlooking the distilling area. The outdoorsy flair of antlers on the wall and a stuffed bear hanging in excess of the bar is juxtaposed with brilliant paintings of canine, done by a community artist, peppered during the home.

But no tasting place is comprehensive without the need of something to sample — and, in Unpleasant Dog’s case, that sample is award-winning.

The distillery’s S’Mores Kentucky Bourbon won Greatest in Course and the double gold medal at the 2021 San Francisco Environment Spirits Competitors, a feat that was extra than a 12 months in the building. The bourbon — a sensitive blend of the traditional marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker flavors — introduced the distillery with unique problems.

“It took us a very long time, and I get the job done with a crew who are flavor folks,” stated David Salmon, Unattractive Dog Distillery CEO.

One particularly tricky aspect was a campfire smoke taste, one thing “you don’t even assume about” as currently being an component of S’Mores, Salmon reported. It arrived right after an Unsightly Canine mixologist smoked the bourbon — a course of action of exposing a cocktail to flavored smoke — on a whim in the course of a demo tasting.

The strategy came to him for the reason that the distillery usually smokes its Previous Fashioned cocktails, stated Dan Laird, the mixologist guiding the plan.

“We all decided smoking cigarettes the S’Mores flavor was the way to go,” Laird said.

Those attempting the demo bourbon mentioned, “that’s it” quickly immediately after tasting the smoked edition, Salmon explained.

“And it was,” Salmon mentioned.

The S’Mores Kentucky Bourbon is not the only flavored liquor showcased at Unappealing Pet dog. Other individuals involve Michigan cherry, salted caramel, peanut butter and peach bourbons, as properly as a raspberry vodka.


Though Unsightly Pet dog distills its vodka and gin in-property, it operates with other distillers for the bourbon base for its flavored bourbons. Rick Wyble, Unsightly Dog’s head distiller, stated operating with other companies lets Unsightly Pet to be a lot more innovative with its products and solutions.

“We’re the only firm zigging the place other organizations are zagging,” Wyble explained.

Hideous Puppy also has a bacon vodka, which Salmon said will make “a fabulous chocolate martini.”

The bacon vodka, the distillery’s 3rd-finest seller in Michigan, does have a twist, even though.

“It’s vegan,” Salmon said, laughing.

Though Salmon has been the mastermind at the rear of several of Unsightly Dog’s merchandise, the bacon vodka was designed by the distillery’s initial entrepreneurs, who commenced Unappealing Dog in 2004 following getting dared by some friends that they could not make a great vodka.

Salmon acquired the distillery in September 2016 and in 2018 moved the distillery and tasting space from North Territorial Street in the vicinity of Stofer in the North Lake space into downtown Chelsea.

Unpleasant Dog focuses on working with all-natural substances, Salmon mentioned, these types of as making use of natural and organic cane sugar alternatively of high fructose corn syrup, which he explained would make the flavors “more strong.”

“It normally takes much more to make our merchandise, but we want our buyers to have a excellent, terrific product or service,” he mentioned.

Giving back again to the neighborhood also is critical to Unsightly Dog, explained tasting home supervisor Rob Mida.

“It’s about supporting Chelsea, holding Chelsea solid,” explained Mida, a Chelsea indigenous, who additional he would like to set Chelsea “on the map.”

In addition to web hosting meals truck functions with stay tunes to draw folks downtown, Unpleasant Doggy is one particular of the distilleries that developed hand sanitizer for initial responders and the public to assist struggle the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are waiting with bated breath for matters to open up up all over again,” Salmon mentioned.

Although he appreciates the award for the S’Mores Kentucky Bourbon, Salmon said he cares much more about what his customers assume.

“Things are exciting,” Salmon stated. “Of course, we couldn’t have performed it with out the aid of persons of Chelsea and the people today of Michigan.”

Unpleasant Canine Distillery goods are readily available in 15 states, Washington, D.C. and Canada. For far more facts, or to discover out where to buy Unpleasant Pet products and solutions, take a look at the distillery’s web-site right here.

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