Note: Our Assistant Distiller, Fred Polone, wrote this blog post back in December 2016....we unfortunately didn't, and still don't, have a great understanding of how to use our website hosting service. Needless to say, the blog post is very, very tardy. But without further ado, meet Fred!
-Bobby Finan, Partner & Master Distiller
From the keyboard of Fred Polone:
Introductions are best kept short, so here it is: I’m Fred Polone, pleased to meet you.
Is that good? What, more? Okay.
I’m the Assistant Distiller here at Tommyrotter, working as a plug and play member of the team. I’m your typical studying sommelier who drinks gin straight and enjoys pasta without sauce. I am also a proud millennial who gets bored with whichever skillset I feel proficient "enough" in. I often chase down hard to answer questions, usually in a discipline outside of my wheelhouse. It’s a guidance counselor’s nightmare, but that fear of comfort, that curiosity for the unorthodox, that fervor for substance, has always brought me into the fold of avant-garde and innovative communities – hence how I was led to the doors of Tommyrotter Distillery.
Bobby and I met in the Summer of 2015. Right before Tommyrotter was available for retail sales, I had the pleasure of tasting the American Gin with Bobby, and much like the reaction of those who try it, I was instantly enamored. I was already a self-proclaimed connoisseur of gin, in love with the culinary sensibility that the spirit carries, but Tommyrotter’s American Gin was something unique and unparalleled. I found the best domestic gin I had ever tasted and it was being made right here in Buffalo, NY; I became an intrigued loyalist from day one to say the least.
I came on the Tommyrotter team in July of 2016, and like every great milestone in life there’s a little poetry behind it. I remember my first morning gearing up for a day at Tommyrotter Distillery being sublimely lit. It might have been the hope of starting a brand new position, or the excitement of crafting a product that I’ve been a fan of since it’s inception. It was the kind of morning where 6am is as attractive at 2pm. (FYI you have get used to loving 6am. Here at Tommyrotter distillation starts with the day; 7am is when the switches get flipped and it’s game on.) I walked in, shook hands with an energetic and contemplative Master Distiller and was thrown head first in the undiluted, high-octane life of a distillery carving a path in a millennia old industry. I was exhausted by lunch.
There are a few moments that feel memorable as you live through them and when they happen you’re senses tune in with Hi-Definition quality. I can remember vividly my first pause from work, contemplating the surreal experience of being apart of an award-winning distillery. I remember standing on the production floor looking at a brick wall blazoned with the Tommyrotter insignia hanging two stories above and a wash of trepidatious gratitude poured over me. Here I was, a kid from Brooklyn with childhood aspirations for poetry and now I was in the middle of Buffalo, NY’s premier distillery collecting experiences that paint dreams. I now recognize the squeak of a cork being wedged into a newly filled bottle, my forearms know the tide-like pull of spirit sloshing around a rolling barrel. The experiences that I’ve had here at Tommyrotter have only given me more gumption for moving faster, stronger and more creatively for a company who's founders and employees are determined to achieve a future of world renown. I hope you continue to enjoy our Small Batch Vodka, American Gin, Cask Strength Bourbon Barrel Gin products and look forward to what comes next.
-Fred Polone, Assistant Distiller, Tommyrotter Distillery