The original impetus for the distillery came from a long desire of Scott “Mash” Schumaker to try his hand at distilling, and to keep in touch with fraternity brothers and old friends. Scott lives off the grid on his mountain in Marion and produces his own energy. He got the idea of making fuel from potatoes to create energy. After studying the history of alcohol production from the early pre-prohibition days to today, Scott decided to turn his potato fueled project into a business. So he wrote a business plan purchased a still and made mash and alcohol and was told that it was “good stuff”. This was the start of Appalachian Mountain Spirits, LLC at Virginia Sweetwater Distillery. Located high above Walkers Creek Road, the first legal distillery in Southwest Virginia produces small batch handcrafted whiskies.
Upon incorporation of Appalachian Mountain Spirits, LLC and during construction of the distillery, Scott’s younger brother passed away. He was a decorated warrior and a beloved officer so Scott named our whisky in his brother’s honor, War Horn Whisky. War Horns were part of the battle crest of his unit, the 32nd Signal Corp Battalion and saw action in Iraq. Whenever the troops left camp they would shout “Sound the War Horns” at the main gate and into battle they would go.
Moonshining has been a way of life in these parts and the majority of all illegal alcohol comes from these very mountains even to this very day. Virginia Sweetwater is the same true whisky that has been made in Appalachia for generations. We have never changed the recipe, and unlike most small producers we make every drop. All our grains are from local farmers, the glass is American made and local artisans are featured in our store. Our corn whisky is a true American spirit and is loved by the consumer.