Tucked away on a quiet industrial road on the north end of the island, our tasting room is a haven for spirits enthusiasts and cocktail lovers alike. If you are visiting Hilton Head and looking to partake in the island’s best attractions, you’ve come to the right place! As one of TripAdvisor’s top Things To Do in Hilton Head, our distillery tasting room is sure to be one of the highlights of your vacation. With a wide selection of handcrafted rums and one of the country’s most unique vodkas, you won’t want to miss out on what we have to offer!
When you pull into our lot, you might notice that there are two buildings on site – one in the front and one in the back. The front building houses our tasting room and storage warehouse. The back building is our distillery, aka “where the magic happens.” Our distillery is not currently open to the public, so we kindly ask that all guests immediately proceed to the tasting room after arriving.
Our Tasting Room
When you enter the tasting room, you will see that we have a large bar, as well as a few cocktail tables. Please note that we do not provide seating, as space is limited to standing room only. If you or someone in your party needs to sit for health reasons, please request a stool from one of our staff members. It is important to us that everyone can enjoy their tasting in a comfortable environment.
Our tasting menu includes three different options for how to format your flight. You can choose from a variety of neat samples and cocktails to make the tasting experience your own. For those who are unfamiliar, the term “neat” simply means that you will be tasting the spirit by itself – no ice, not mixed. If you are not comfortable drinking spirits neat, you have the option to enjoy a “cocktails only” tasting flight.
Once you have chosen from one of the three tasting options, you will fill out a form, noting the samples and/or cocktails that you would like to enjoy. One of our tasting room associates will create your flight paddle and then you can just sit back and imbibe! Click here to view a sample tasting menu.
In the early 1600’s, sugar was primarily cultivated and manufactured in Southeast Asia, making it a rare and valuable commodity in the Western Hemisphere. But when the British established the West Indies, known today as the Caribbean Islands, all of that changed. The islands possessed a fertile cane-growing environment, so the British quickly jumped at the opportunity to produce refined sugar. In the following years, sugar cane plantations grew rapidly throughout the islands, and the British West Indies became a major producer of sugar.
Molasses – the main byproduct of the sugar refining process – was initially viewed as waste because it was not yet recognized as valuable for baking purposes. So in order to make use of this waste byproduct, a few islanders decided to try their hand at fermenting and distilling molasses into a drinkable alcohol. This is how rum was born.
Here at Hilton Head Distillery, we use molasses as the base ingredient for all of our spirits. We like to think that it ties our story back to the history of rum itself and keeps us grounded in the traditions that brought us to where we are today. It also means that our rum and vodka is naturally gluten free!
Technology and Innovation
As much as we love staying true to our roots when distilling our spirits, we also love informing our craft with new-age technology to enhance the quality of our products. All of our equipment was custom-designed, giving us full control of our batches. This means that we can manipulate and regulate our stills to ensure that they are producing the highest quality spirit possible.
We’re also using innovative technology to take advantage of sustainable resources here on the island. As you may know, Hilton Head Island is notoriously humid, especially during the summer months. You are likely to see low-lying mists during the morning hours, rising toward the sky after having settled on the lush marshes and waterways overnight. We decided to put that island mist to work in our distillery! We have what’s called an Atmospheric Water Generator that pulls the humidity out of the air, filters it, and turns it into drinking water. That water is then used to proof down our spirits after they come out of the still. Not only is this water sustainably collected, but it is also one of the purest forms of water you can find on the face of the planet!
Because of the unique technology we use and the great care we take when distilling our spirits, you can expect our products to taste better than most. Even if you don’t consider yourself a rum or vodka enthusiast, we guarantee you will fall in love with our libations. Come, taste for yourself!
A Family Friendly Attraction
Are you visiting Hilton Head with kids? Our tasting room is a great family-friendly activity to enjoy during your stay. We have a small seating area for children, complete with games, books, and other activities. Kids are welcome to enjoy some fun play time while the adults enjoy their beverages. We do, however, ask that children (with the exception of infants) remain behind the “21 & Over Only” separation wall. Parents and/or guardians are welcome to use one of the tables closest to the children’s area if supervision is needed.
Traveling with fur babies? We welcome dogs and other pets at any of our outside tables. We do kindly ask that pets stay outside and we will be happy to provide you with a water bowl upon request.
By South Carolina state law, we are limited to serving 3 ounces of liquor per person, per day. Our tasting flights are structured so that, no matter which of the options you choose, you will be consuming exactly 3 ounces. Typically, one cocktail consists of 1.5 ounces of liquor, so you can think of your flight as two drinks’ worth of spirit. Unfortunately, because our tasting flights max out those 3 ounces, we cannot serve you any additional samples or cocktails once you have finished your flight.
State law also dictates that we cannot serve individual shots or drinks. When you visit, you will be required to partake in one of the three tasting flight options. You unfortunately cannot walk up to the bar and order a drink like you might be used to. Instead, we will kindly ask you to choose from the selections provided on our menu. Please note that we do not keep sodas and juices on hand like regular bars do – all of our ingredients are ordered specifically to make the cocktails listed on our menu.
Please note that we are not able to ship our products at this point in time. Our licensing prohibits us from selling direct-to-consumer outside of our tasting room. We are working hard to find a way to get our products to our out-of-state customers, but at this time we are unable to provide that service.
Are you a vacationer that gets frustrated by crowds and long wait times? We’re here to help! If you’re looking to avoid a packed tasting room, follow the guidelines below…
Hilton Head Distillery is one of the island’s favorite things to do on a rainy day. Because there are a limited number of establishments on Hilton Head that provide fun indoor activities for vacationers, we tend to see big crowds during times of precipitation. As our staff likes to say, “when it rains, we pour!” This means that rainy days are more likely to produce big crowds and a long wait list for the tasting. If you’d like to avoid that commotion, we recommend choosing a sunny day to visit the tasting room.
We also tend to see the bulk of our guests during the 2pm-5pm timeframe. We find that most vacationers like to enjoy Hilton Head’s beaches during the late morning, then head out for a fun afternoon activity. If you choose to visit us earlier during the day, there’s a better chance you won’t have to battle any crowds in our tasting room.