Sandy Wood - Distillery Specialist

Name: Sandy Wood

Expertise: Spirits Generalist, Distillery Specialist

Job: CEO One Eight Distilling

Instagram: @potstillboss

Past Discussions: Whiskey 101

How did you get your start in spirits/distilling?

After being a whiskey aficionado for many years, in 2012 I began reading about distilling and had the idea to open a distillery in Washington, DC. Over the course of the next two years, I trained at three different distilleries and took a variety of seminars to learn more about distilling.

What’s something you’d like people to know about being a master distiller that they probably don’t?

Master Distiller is a title that should be earned over the course of many years. A true master distiller has a strong scientific understanding of distilling and maturation, particularly of the chemistry involved, an educated palate for sampling and blending, as well as the practical expertise of day-to-day operations of a distillery. There are very few master distillers. 

Tell us more about One Eight Distilling.

One Eight was founded with the goal of bringing our own interpretations to the history and traditions of distilling in the mid-Atlantic area. In an effort to showcase the flavors of our region, we distill our spirits from locally sourced grains and take pride in knowing our farmers. In addition to vodka, gin and barrel-rested gin, our District Made portfolio of spirits features the first whiskeys to be distilled, aged and bottled in D.C. since Prohibition. 

What are three spirits/distilling facts people can use as conversation starters?

  1. Name 6 distinct types of whiskey. Or 10, if you are a connoisseur.

  2. Early history of distilling alcohol dates from the 8th and 9th century in Persia.

  3. Most vodka made in America is made in large-scale commercial production facilities then purchased by distilleries who have their names on the bottles. One Eight’s District Made Vodka is an exception to this rule.

Drink of choice?

The next one I pour. 


House on the beach or log cabin in the woods?

House on the beach. 


3 songs you can’t stop listening to ...

  1. T.I.B.W.F. – The Budos Band

  2. Someone Great – LCD Soundsystem

  3. Matilda – Alt-J

Colleen Turner