"Unique" is a word that’s bandied about with abandon, often to describe experiences that are all too familiar. But it’s totally on point when talking about the tours offered by the Lost Spirits Distillery, what Timeout Magazine dubbed “a boozy theme park for adults.”
Let’s start with the fact that the year-old working distillery is located on a pretty deserted stretch of downtown LA, turning out whiskey and rum that has earned the industry’s top honors. Then, consider that Lost Spirits, which began in 2010 in Castroville, “the artichoke center of the world,” has perfected a technology that allows them to create a 20-year-aged rum in a mere seven days. You’ll learn just how they do that in a 90-minute tour that includes a journey by riverboat to Whisky Island, a ride on a carousel, encounters with TESSA, the disembodied voice of the operating system that runs the distillery, talking topiary triceratops and snarky tweeting mechanical birds.
Even more wondrous is the science that the Lost Spirits team imparts, including how they’ve managed to recreate a fabled 1800’s whiskey by way of antique furniture made of a now extinct variety of chestnut that had once provided the wood for aging barrels. Along the way there are ample tastings. Groups can book a 12-person boat for a private tour; Disney and NASA’s Jet Propulsion lab are among those who have.
The cost is $37 a person; book ahead since the popular tours sell out months in advance.