Old Fashioned in the Old West

Upon entering the town of Ennis, Montana, a sign reads: “Welcome to Ennis. Pop. 840 People. 11,00,000 Trout.”


Photo credit: NoDirectionKnown.com

This fly fishing town has a vibrant main street with several shops, restaurants and cafés, a salon, and — as any good town that we’ve found in adventures across America — a distillery. Of course, the exception to its vibrancy is looking for lunch at 2:00 p.m.  At this point, the eateries of the town are closed save for the pretzels that come with a tasting at the local distillery. And so, pretzels it would be.

Willie’s Distillery feels like an old saloon, everything is covered in wood and there’s a large mirror behind the bar. The room smells of barley, pleasant and distinct. The walls are adorned with maps which include pins from visitors to Willie’s, and it looked like much of the world had been covered.

For $1 a shot and $6 a cocktail, we were game for tasting their range of bourbons, moonshines and grappas.


Photo credit: WorkofHonor.com

If you’re looking to liven up your bar, the Montana Honey Moonshine was sweet and smooth without being overly saccharine. It was also delicious mixed with unsweetened iced tea.


Photo credit: Willie’s Distillery

The grappa stood out as smooth and easy on the palette compared with its Italian ancestor.

The ingredients used for the range of spirits produced by Willie’s Distillery come from local farms in Montana. Even the honey comes from a nearby apiary.

Before leaving, we picked up a bag of Willie’s house blend coffee, on which the bag read: “This ain’t no pansy ass city coffee.”