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Port Chester’s COMB Spirits Give Liquor Cabinet Fresh Buzz
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 12:44
By Jim Byrne
Hosting a party this month, and searching for something other than those same old spirits? Look no further than StilltheOne, Westchester’s first distillery since Prohibition.
Located right over the border in Port Chester, StilltheOne produces three varieties of honey-based liquor: COMB Vodka, the distillery’s flagship, COMB 9 Gin, and the newest addition, COMB Brandy. The unique line is the brainchild of Pelham resident Ed Tiedge, a former hedge fund manager who started his own business after the economy collapsed in 2008.
“I figured I could get into financial advising, but that would be more of the same,” said Tiedge, 52. “I wanted to deal with real products; I just didn’t know a thing about distribution.”
Tiedge assumed he would need high capital to start his own spirits company, but was inspired by what Hudson Whiskey had done with lesser means. “That’s when the light went on.”
Already equipped with the StilltheOne moniker, named for his wife of 27 years, Tiedge decided to sell his 911 Porsche turbo for start-up funds. As it turned out, the European purchaser owned a small distillery and winery in France, and offered Tiedge an apprenticeship.
“The way that happened confirmed for me that I was going down the right path,” said Tiedge.
Upon returning Stateside in the spring 2009, Tiedge leased the 2,000-square-foot warehouse behind the waterfront shopping center in Port Chester, and was on his way. StilltheOne has already earned critical acclaim for its vodka and gin, including seven awards in its first year alone.
This writer purchased a bottle of COMB Vodka last month for a gathering of friends, and had a smash-hit to pour all night. It’s best to sip neat, but also works well in mixed drinks.
StilltheOne’s products are available in over 200 Westchester restaurants and liquor stores, including Wine at 5 and Ralph’s.
“Ten years ago I never would have thought I’d be doing this today,” said Tiedge. “And, if Wall Street hadn’t melted down, yes, I’d probably still be in the financial industry. But, do I sleep better now and enjoy what I do more? Absolutely.”
For more information, go to combvodka.com.