On entering the town of Ennis, Montana, a sign reads: “Welcome to Ennis. Pop. 840 People. 11,00,000 Trout.”
This fly fishing town has a vibrant main street with several shops, restaurants and cafés, a salon, and as in any great town that we’ve found in our adventures across America, a distillery. Of course, the exception to Ennis’ vibrancy is looking for lunch at 2:00 p.m. At this point, the eateries are all closed, and so we opted for the pretzels that came with a spirit tasting at Willie’s Distillery.
Willie’s feels like an old saloon. Everything is covered in wood and there is 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.
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.
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 around 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”