Manifest was founded on the principle that a great vision can only be achieved through unity. Individual talents and abilities are integral to our success, but the sum is always greater than the individual parts. This founding principle revealed itself naturally when establishing our team, comprised of David Cohen, Scott Kennelly, Trey Mills and Tom Johnson. The individual journeys of these four gentlemen led them together to form what is now Manifest. Since opening in September 2016, that team has grown from the original 4 to the team you see below.
Manifest celebrates the best of what American craftsmanship has to offer, from the American-made distillation equipment to the grains sourced from a network of co-ops throughout the North America. Our distillation is influenced by training from famed brew school the Siebel Institute, researching and shadowing master distillers throughout Kentucky and elsewhere along with a resilient desire to never stop learning, growing and chasing our best selves.
What does it mean to be organic? We get asked all the time about this, and it likely doesn't mean what you think. We choose to maintain a certified organic facility because it supports sustainable agriculture, not because the logo looks great on the bottle. While not every product we make is organic, our facility is. This means we have to keep chain of custody on every single raw material we purchase, use non-toxic sanitation and pest control practices, and isolate any products that aren't organic. In our current product line-up, our Potato Vodka and Citrus Vodka are our only two products that aren't organic. The potatoes used to make the vodka are non-GMO and the citrus used is grown organically, although it isn't certified. Wherever possible, we try to work with a supplier that can provide organic material, because it helps them sustain their facility. In a few instances, like our vodka, we chose to work with someone who isn't certified, but is still practicing sustainable farming.
Transparency has always been a top priority for Manifest, so we wanted to shed some light on this corner of the industry. If a product is sourced, that means that the brand name on the front of a bottle isn't necessarily who made the liquid inside. There is a long history of sourcing within the U.S. and, if you care to dive deep, Spirits Business did a nice story on that. There is nothing wrong with sourcing, in our opinion, as long as you are disclosing that fact to the consumer.
That said, Manifest Gin, Vodka, and Citrus Vodka all begin as a neutral spirits that we source from trusted partners. Our partners use specialized stills that produce spirits over 190 proof, thereby removing any character from the spirit (making them "neutral"). Each of these base, neutral spirits are re-distilled on our copper pot-column still and, as is the case of our Gin and Citrus Vodka, given the flavor characteristics that we love. Manifest's Rye Whiskey, as well as our experimental whiskeys, malt whiskeys, brandies and liqueurs, begin in our facility as grains and fruit, where we ferment and distill them. MORE? Got questions? Don't hesitate to ask.
David Cohen - Head Distiller, Prez
Scott Kennelly - Partner
Trey Mills - Partner
Tom Johnson - Partner, Sales Director
Jim Webb - General Manager, Notorious J.I.M.
Mike Mullis - Lead Distiller, Production Manager, Swole Man
Sydney Jones - Resident Distiller, Master of Hammock
Hana Ferguson - Marketing and Events
Deborah Lamm, Julie Cofran, and Lisa Skinner (L to R) - Back of House Angels
Ginny - Distillery Cat
Staff photography by Cole LoCurto