Yellowfin Distillery produces top-quality vodka in a part of Louisiana — Lake Charles — that is perhaps best known for charter boat fishing adventures and abundant seafood. Over time, though, it’s also gaining a reputation for its local innovators and cultural ambassadors like distillery founder Jamison Trouth.
The vodka producer opened to the public in late 2016, by which time Trouth had already spent an entire decade building the business.
He explains of Yellowfin’s backstory: “I’d gone to college for chemical engineering, took a class on distillation, and that just clicked for me ... I wanted to do something fun with my degree, and at the time there was only one distillery in Louisiana.”
Opening a vodka distillery in west Louisiana, far from large metropolitan areas and without an already-established drinking culture, might not have been a readily apparent recipe for success. Trouth went all in though, selling his house in 2013 to purchase distilling equipment, and leaving his engineering job in 2014.
When he tasted the first batch of vodkas two years later, he had no doubt that Yellowfin’s quality could equal or exceed that of larger, longer-established distilleries. He sources ingredients locally, using homegrown sugar from Gramercy, Louisiana. There are no post-distillation additives or sweeteners. All of the filtration, distillation and packaging takes place in-house at Yellowfin’s headquarters in the town of Sulphur (next door to Lake Charles).
You can taste the quality for yourself by visiting Yellowfin Distillery’s tasting room, where you’ll receive complimentary tastings and tours. They’re open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and no appointment is necessary.