Can of Noble Cut Distillery's Limecello next to pineapple lime mule (photo courtesy of Noble Cut Distillery)
Food + Drink

Noble Cut Distillery Owner Tony Guilfoy Talks Cellos

Since opening in 2015, Noble Cut Distillery in Gahanna has garnered industry and customer praise. We asked founder Tony Guilfoy how the company has built its successes.

One of the joys of life is sharing family customs that evolve into cherished traditions. They can be as simple as cookie baking at the holidays, egg hunting in spring or perhaps something a little more spirited.

For instance, for the past two decades my brother-in-law always reaches into his freezer and produces a bottle of Rumple Minze, 100-proof peppermint schnapps, on Christmas day. We toast each other’s health, knowing we’ll at least wind up with fresh breath from our 2-ounce gulp of the vaporous dram.

Last year, my wife and I contributed something a bit more palatable to the proceedings. We brought along a bottle of Noble Cut Distillery’s sensational Limoncello, crafted from a family recipe of owner Tony Guilfoy. The spirit was tart, sweet and soothing, while still packing a notable punch at 80 proof.

We were delighted recently when we visited Noble Cut and its tasting bar. As Guilfoy explains, he’s hit a sweet spot for being the “bartender’s best friend.” The company’s cellos are so delicious that Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, the culinary giant of the Columbus landscape, has contracted with Noble Cut to produce three custom cellos, including a melon basil and Meyer lemon.

Although I still relish the cozy warmth of Rumple Minze, when savoring a drink without following a family tradition, I’ll opt for Noble Cut’s cellos.

You offer a delicious series of flavored whiskies. Was that always your goal?
Most new distilleries dream of having the best bourbon. I found there was a niche that was being underserved, which was bartenders wanting to make extremely creative cocktails with natural products. My goal was always to become the bartender’s best friend.

How have you applied that philosophy to the cellos you make?
If a cocktail calls for limoncello, bartenders don’t have to add additional alcohol to the cocktail because ours is 80 proof. Our products can actually replace two or three different products in a bar.

You’re currently in about 100 OHLQ locations and in restaurants and bars throughout Ohio and Tennessee. What are your future goals?
We’re expanding the production facility, adding products and expanding markets. I’ve hired more people for Ohio’s north coast. We’re looking at adding nine new states. It’s all about getting it into more people’s hands.

Proof Magazine is for Ohio spirit lovers. It is produced by Great Lakes Publishing three times a year. Don’t miss an issue by subscribing to Ohio Magazine. View a digital version of the Proof Magazine Spring 2024 edition here.