KGB Spirits is a New Mexico based craft distiller creating small batches of bourbon, rye whiskey, gin, vodka, Absinthe and orange liqueur, with plans to add a rum in the next year. Our Rancho de Los Luceros Destilaría is located on the property of the historic ranch of the same name in Alcalde, NM, in the straw bale building that was once home to the Los Luceros Winery – the second straw bale built winery in the United States. We have an 2800 square foot distillery and a 2000 square foot warehouse/office in Santa Fe.
KBG Spirits was founded by John Bernasconi, Karen Lubliner and George Schurman in 2009 with a five gallon still when John decided to distill some less-than-fresh Mendoza Malbec into vodka. We now have two stills, a sixteen-plate copper column still and an alembic still with a gooseneck and a botanical chamber, both custom built by Arnold Holstein of Bavaria, Germany, and the capability to bottle 50,000 bottles per year. Our products first hit the shelves in October of 2011, with our TAOS LIGHTNING single barrel straight, Vodka VIRACOCHA and HACIENDA Gin.
A small company, KGB Spirits currently has 4 employees. Following the philosophy that what creates a unique spirit is the ability to extract flavor from various ingredients, KGB Spirits hired Steven Jarrett, a classically trained chef, as its Master Distiller. Steve’s background in working with various flavor elements and creating recipes sets KGB Spirits apart, and encompasses our idea that good spirits are meant to be enjoyed as one would a good meal.
Our current brands are TAOS LIGHTNING single barrel straight Rye Whiskey 5 year, CERAN ST. VRAIN single barrel straight Rye Whiskey 15 year, Vodka VIRACOCHA, Los Luceros HACIENDA Gin, BRIMSTONE Absinthe and NARANJO Orange Liqueur. We have recently planted 4 acres with sorghum and purchased a 2500 pound roller mill in anticipation of creating our estate grown rum. The Vodka VIRACOCHA just won a silver medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, while the TAOS LIGHTNING Rye 3 year, the TAOS LIGHTNING single barrel straight Bourbon Whiskey and the HACIENDA Gin all took home bronze medals.
The batch capacity of our stills is approximately 100 gallons, which means that all of our products are small batches and subject to slight variation from batch to batch. Each bottle is hand bottled and hand marked with batch and bottle number. Our individual and unique batches create spirits that are collectable, and will inspire some connoisseurs to cellar them, as they would fine wines. Unlike wine, which changes in the bottle, spirits retain the characteristics and flavors present at the time of bottling.