Grand Rapids may be known as "Beer City USA" but if you prefer to sip on something a little stronger, there are a lot of places to get a great whiskey or bourbon... and one of those places just happens to be the best in the state.

Eastern Kille Distillery (formerly Gray Skies) was named "Michigan Distillery of the Year" at the New York International Spirts Competition. According to the event's website, they received over 1,200 submissions from over 30 countries and Eastern Kille took first place for the state.

In addition to the title, Eastern Kille Distillery also won double gold awards for its Michigan Straight Rye Whiskey. In a Facebook post from them, they are the first Michigan distillery to ever win double gold in the competition's 11-year history.

We are proud to represent Michigan in the top tier of whiskies entered into the competition along with the usual heavy hitters from Scotland and Kentucky. Cheers!

Eastern Kille is also the only Michigan distillery to win an award from the NYISC. Some other states had multiple winners in various categories on top of whiskey such as "Bloody Mary mix of the year" or "vodka of the year."

I've only ever had the gin from Eastern Kille but I also appreciate a good whiskey so the next time I'm feeling down with the brown, I know where to go!

Their award-winning Michigan Straight Rye Whiskey is described as a

double pot distilled from a recipe of rye and barley grain then aged a minimum of two years in new, charred oak barrels.

It has a taste of chocolate, dark fruit, and baking spice with a finish of black pepper and cinnamon.

The Straight Rye Whiskey also took the silver medal this year at the San Diego Wine & Spirits Challenge.

Eastern Kille Distillery is located at 700 Ottawa Ave NW in Grand Rapids.

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This was the first year the New York International Spirits Competition took place virtually so organizers sent 2 oz. samples of all the varieties of liquor to the judge's homes. Where do I sign up for that job?!