LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Merging British heritage and Kentucky Spirit, Blacklion Vodka is made from sheep’s milk.
A woolly way to elevate spirits and taste buds, Louisville resident Kirsten Schofield said she learned a lot about the Purebred Swiss Valais Blacknose Sheep and vodka at a tasting event at Louisville's 21c Museum and Hotel.
"I think it's really important to learn how your product is made right," Schofield said. "You vote with your money, and every time you're spending your money, you want to know where it's coming from. To see these animals that are so happy, healthy, well-cared for, it's really nice to know that it's going into the product at the end of the day, which makes you more likely to buy it.”
Blacklion Vodka founders Tan and Tim Spittle are sheep farmers in the Cotswolds, United Kingdom. They said vodka has always been their go-to drink.
"We knew about cow's milk vodka; I'm like, 'Well, we're shepherds, we've got sheep. Why has no one ever done it with sheep?'" Tan said. "We looked into it. We searched and realized that, actually, this was a possibility."
After four years of research and development, they created sheep's milk vodka, which they said is produced from a waste product in the cheese-making process.
"Creating a product that is sustainable, made 100% from waste, is all about the future of farming: good farming," Tim said.
The Spittles said they chose Kentucky not only because it felt like home, but they wanted to be with the best in spirits.
“Let's be honest: Kentucky knows how to make spirits," Tim said. "You have people that are passionate about spirits, and that's what we're all about.”
Schofield is excited Kentucky is the home base of rare sheep’s milk vodka, she said.
"Louisville doesn't get to be first for big product launches a lot," she said. "So it's really neat that we're getting this product to come here first."
Blacklion Vodka will have an open farm and distillery later this year in Paris, Kentucky, just outside of Lexington. Visitors will be able to pet sheep and taste vodka.