Who We Are
An uber small operation importing and distributing geeky spirits in the US.
PM stands for 'Paul-Marie'. PM Spirits is a tribute to Nicolas Palazzi’s late father, Paul-Marie Palazzi.
Who We Are
We import cool spirits made by small artisan distillers who are our friends.
We started out focusing on our first love, cognac— including both the cognacs we bottle ourselves under our own label and those that our friends bottle under theirs.
But since then we’ve extended our repertoire to a range of profound, small-production distillates from around the world.
We only work with spirits that we would drink ourselves. As of now, that includes Frank Cornelissen’s Sicilian grappa,
single-cask Spanish brandies (in collaboration with Equipo Navazos), the handmade agave-based spirits from Mezcal Vago,
and painstakingly made eaux-de- vies from independent producers like France’s Laurent Cazottes (located just outside of Bordeaux) and the Rochelt family in Tyrol, Austria, among many others.
Currently, we function as two separate but overlapping operations: a portfolio of imports that we distribute exclusively in New York, as well as a nationally distributed portfolio that is currently available in 24 states. Both portfolios demonstrate our commitment to the following core beliefs.
What We Believe
We believe in artisan spirits made by independent producers who are passionately dedicated to their craft.
We will always trust actual human beings who rely on their own noses and palates to guide their decisions more than the huge multi-national corporations that use algorithms to run their stills.
Above all else, we believe that that spirits are more than commodities. Just as site-specific and terroir-driven as wine, they are authentic expressions of place, which communicate the stories of the people who produce them and the traditions of the areas in which they are made.
About Our Products
We want our spirits to tell those stories in the clearest possible terms.
That’s why we work with products that have been made, aged, and bottled with ZERO additives. It’s also why we usually (although not always) represent spirits that are bottled at full-proof and—when applicable—drawn from a single cask.
To be clear, we’re not dogmatic. It’s not like we’re against adding water to lower a spirit’s proof, nor are we categorically against blends. (In fact, many blends are truly awesome, and we even sell a few ourselves). We just want to encounter the underlying spirit in its purest, most unadulterated form. And in our experience, the decision to dilute a spirit to 40% abv usually isn’t about finding the optimal proof at which it can express itself—it’s about increasing the volume of production and making more cash.
Similarly, we gravitate toward single-cask bottlings because we find that they’re the most direct expressions of their places of origin. They’re also unique. The polar opposite of the manufactured “house style” of big, mass-produced brands, single-cask expressions reflect the distinct personality of a finite, untouched spirit, offering an experience that simply can’t be replicated. At the end of the day, it’s that specific imprint of time and place that we want to discover in the glass.
What You Won't Find in Our Portfolio
When people ask us, “What brands do you rep?” the answer is usually, “Most likely nothing you’ve ever heard about before.” It’s not that we’re snobs (to be honest, we’d jump at the chance to rep a few brands— we’d make serious bank). We just don’t operate at that large scale. Much like the small wine importers who carry family growers from off-the- grid places like Vacqueyras or Cour-Cheverny— they guys who do cool stuff but haven’t yet made the cover of GQ— we work with roster of serious independent artisans who are worthy of attention, even if their names might be harder to pronounce than “Jim Beam.”
Artisans spirits are expensive to make and require knowledge, equipment, and a whole lot of time and effort to be produced, aged, and bottled. They are made in miniscule quantities by actual human beings, rather than corporate behemoths with enormous PR and marketing budgets behind them. The main problem small distillers face is that, while this meticulous attention to detail directly translates to the quality of the finished product, there’s no guarantee that the average person will appreciate all the resources that went into it. Compared to products that can be sold in million-case amounts, artisan spirits will never be able to compete in terms of price. But you get what you pay for. So the question is simple: Are people willing to invest in quality, uniqueness, and craft? We are, and we hope that you will be too. And we believe that what you get for your money more than rewards the initial investment.
We don’t do “smooth.” To us, smooth is totally a BS descriptor, just like “yummy” or “tasty” are meaningless terms for describing wine. Usually, “smooth” means one thing: boring as hell. The whole point of artisan spirits is to reflect a terroir and a sense of craftsmanship. It’s about distinctions, delineations, personality quirks. Smooth is what you get when you “focus-group” a spirit into total anonymity. It’s the politically correct term to describe a product that’s so easy to drink it could be practically anything else. If anything, good artisan spirits are “balanced.” They are never “smooth.”
You won’t find “small batch” products in our portfolio either. Why? Because that term actually means jack. By definition, our products are produced in extremely limited supply because the tiny distillers who make them own a tiny parcel of land (or buy a limited amount of materials to distill). That they’re not cranking out millions of gallons of booze should be obvious to anyone with half a brain. Beyond that, though, the phrase “small batch” is really just a cynical marketing strategy, appropriated by multi-billion dollar companies to lend their products a false air of “craft” authenticity. Conveniently, the size of the “small batch” in question is never mentioned. On the other hand, the largest producer we represent is a family of five. They already are small— they don’t need to announce it on the label.
How You Can Help Us in Our Quest
for World Domination in the Name of Artisan Spirits
By experimenting with spirits in the same way you do with wine, beer, coffee, or tea.
By pushing your friends, clients, guests, and colleagues to get out of their comfort zone and experiment with new and unfamiliar expressions.
By fighting for the virtues of craftsmanship, identity, and individuality in a spirits world of bland mediocrity and corporate homogenization.