Off the Rails

All aboard the Pullman Car #30 for lunch and handcrafted cocktails on this historic rail car that was in use from 1917-1987, before making its new home at Desert Diamond Distillery in Kingman, Arizona.
John and Deb Patt, the distillery owners, acquired the rail car in 2018 and began restoring it to later open as the Lost Rail Car Kitchen last month.
Guests may dine in the car from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday-Monday. Lunch options include a variety of appetizers and paninis served with a side and pickle spear.
Reservations are required at this time to sit on the actual train car as there is limited capacity to allow for social distancing. However, there is additional seating on the covered patio and inside the distillery that does not require a reservation. Call 928-757-7611 for reservations.
While the train car is the newest highlight at D3, the distillery has been drawing customers from far and wide since opening in 2010 for the Patts’ award-winning spirits.
Their flagship product is their Gold Miner Rum, which they craft in a light, dark, agave and barrel-reserve selection. Patt also makes a vodka, and most recently added a wheat whiskey and corn whiskey to his repertoire.
All of their spirits have won awards at festivals, including a recent gold medal in the 2019 Los Angeles Spirit Competition for their seven-year single barrel whiskey (pictured at left). Barreled in 2011, this whiskey is incredibly smooth with wheat tones and hints of citrus and cinnamon combining for a pleasing taste and aroma.
Patt prides himself on the smooth, yet flavorful blends that make his spirits so popular.
“I make spirits for you to drink neat,” Patt said. “That’s my job. I want to show you what I can do with the spirit.”
And the proof is in the pudding. A tasting at D3 reveals the time and care that has went into crafting each bottle. The variety of spirits ensures that every connoisseur will find a flavor that suits their fancy.
The light rum is nice and soft, and mixes well for cocktails. It is redistilled to 190 proof to make the vodka. The dark rum has bourbon-like characteristics, and an oaky finish.
The 3-year reserve has a bit of a peppery taste and resembles an Irish whiskey. The 5-year reserve has a notably softer finish, and is a little sweeter with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.
The agave is D3’s bestseller, which is no surprise after tasting a sip. Patt adds real agave nector and a few other natural flavors on top of the dark rum and the sweet honey-like flavor stands out, making it a real treat.
Patt explained the process of creating his spirits from raw plants to bottling.
“I do everything but grow the cane,” Patt said.
He uses sugar cane molasses from Louisiana for his rum, which has to ferment. This is the most important part of the process, as Patt said at this stage “if you screw it up, you cannot fix it.” He then runs it through the still, and it comes out at 175 proof. Patt uses a semi-automated system, a unique technology for a small-scale distillery, which allows him to produce his rum by himself. It ages in new oak barrels until being bottled for purchase.
Tours of the distillery and barrel room are available 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Monday, for just $5 per person. The production room has a state-of-the-art still from Arnold Holstein in Germany and the tanks were made and installed from Bavarian Breweries out of California.
John tells guests about the distillation process and his products, and then guests may choose to sample a few afterward.
They offer an “all in” flight for $10 per person, which includes a sampling of each spirit and a souvenir shot glass.
Deb is a whiz behind the bar and concocts all kinds of delicious cocktails using their spirits. She makes a mean margarita using their agave rum, a corn whiskey lemon mule, espresso martinis and many other tasty drinks. They sell craft cocktail kits in their store and online that include the spirit, mixer and recipe to make it just like Deb at home!
In the front store the Patts sell their liquor, along with a variety of oil and vinegar flavors, and a vanilla extract they make. They also have shirts, novelty gift items, artwork and organic drink mixes on sale in the gift shop.
A unique souvenir visitors may purchase is a mini version of their D3 barrels. They offer a program where guests can bottle their liquor with Patt and take home their own 5-liter barrel with a tap.
If you can’t make it to the distillery at this time, shipping is available to Arizona and Nevada.
Deb said a popular item on their website is their take-home whiskey taster set, which includes four 50 ml. bottles of their high-end spirits — a three-year and five-year barrel reserve rum, the seven-year wheat whiskey and the corn whiskey — tasting notes and a logo shot glass.
“The kits are fun because people can invite friends over and have a little tasting party in their own home,” she said.
They also offer a rum tasting kit, which include the light, dark and agave rum, as well as the vodka.
Patt said they are planning to release an aged brandy in the fall and after passing their 10-year anniversary in April, she said they will be bottling a 10-year rum for release early next year.
The distillery is located at 4875 Olympic Drive in Kingman, Arizona. For more information visit the D3 website at DesertDiamondDistillery.com or follow Desert Diamond Distillery on Facebook. For the latest updates you may also subscribe to their free online newsletter.