#DoGood: Waste to Walls at White Tiger Distillery
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit White Tiger Distillery in Stevensville, Maryland. It is owned and operated by Itsara Ounnarath. WTD is the first Lao Lao distillery in the US. For those unfamiliar with Lao Lao, it is a traditional homemade, often high-proof, rice whisky, clear or translucent in color. Itsara took a small group of us on a tour of the facility. While leaning against a neatly organized row of thousands of rice bags stamped with the distillery's logo, he described in detailed steps of how he turns rice into the finest Lao whisky found in the states. The next part was among my favorites, the tasting.
One shall proceed with caution when approaching WTD's whisky, as it is packed with a pure high-proof punch. The whisky goes down smooth and instead of a warming effect, it cools you inside. We sip the traditional whisky, then follow with an aged barrel whisky and coconut infused liqueur. Surprisingly, after rounds of sampling (I won't disclose portions, ha!), there was no headache, grogginess, or feelings of drunkenness. This is due to it's purity, which he demonstrated by lighting a shot glass of whisky. Avid whisky connoisseurs have tested and vouched for the whisky's "hangover-free" characteristic. The proof is in the pudding, Lao Lao is the answer!
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed by the products and operation. I even left with two bottles! Something that also struck my eye was the interior decor, which radiated a rugged and masculine aesthetic. Itsara achieved this look by repurposing wood pallets and telephone poles into wall facades and furniture. Repurposing not only helped keep expenses low, but allowed Itsara to be creative in giving new life to dormant materials and reduce waste. This is a great example of the old saying "One man's trash is another man's treasure."
In closing, repurpose and #dogood. Share your story and photos with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Tony Innouvong, Founder and Designer