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"The Village" at Laws Whiskey House (as they call their team there) takes Whiskey very seriously. The founders set up shop in Colorado specifically because they recognized the potential of the Rocky Mountain terroir to grow exceptional heirloom grains. They work with two family run farms, the Cody Family Farm in San Luis Valley and the Ohnmacht’s Farm on the Eastern Plains. Rather than use commercially farmed, GMO grains, they use these heritage varieties which are lower yield and harder to grow, but produce much more flavor for the finished product. The grains are milled at the Laws distillery, combined into a sour-mash, and open-air fermented. It is distilled in a custom pot-still and then aged in American oak for a minimum of two years.
This is a high-rye content blend of Bourbons from a selection of 9, 10, and 13 year-old barrels, each chosen specifically for their peppery-spice, which was tempered by added a a more citrus-forward 15 year-old barrel to give it a little lift and soften the rougher edges of the rye. The blend is married and then bottled at cask-strength, 56.95%ABV .
This is what you call a "micro blend" made in tiny quantities to allow the Barrell Whiskey team to experiment and create precise and unique blends like this release of AH21. This bottling is a blend of Kentucky Whiskies, with the majority aged for 18 years finished in Rhum Agricole casks and bottled at cask strength, a whopping 60.55%.
The BH32 is a private release whiskey from the Barrell Craft Spirits team. A blend of Kentucky whiskies, with the bulk coming from 18 year old barrels, finished in a single Malmsey Madeira cask and bottled at cask strength. As with all of Barrell's micro-blends, there is not much to go around, so we were very happy to snag a few of this intensely flavored whiskey. The Madeira really comes through on the nose, notes of hazelnut, pecan, ripe bosc pear, lemon zest, and fresh wheat. On the palate the sweetness of roasted, caramelized nuts hits up front, followed by the grip of wood tannins, and finishes with a long, lingering warmth. Opens up nicely with few drops of water, but is surprisingly balanced for the high-proof. Michelle DeWyngaert
This is the richer, fuller bodied version of the 100% malted Rye from Coppersea, "Bottled in Bond" at 100 proof. Even at the higher proof it is still perfectly balanced and is perfectly delicious neat, or perhaps with a splash of water.
A true Bourbon of New York, all of the ingredients from the grains to the barrels used come from the Hudson Valley, with much of their grains being grown on their own 75-acre organic farm. From here they malt in house, use only indigenous yeasts by employing open-top fermenters, and then distill directly over flame which creates a richer mouthfeel, and barrel at a proof of 105 to allow them use only a small amount of water when proofing for bottling. The mash bill for the Excelsior Bourbon is 60% Corn, 30% Rye, and 10% malted barley, bottled at 96 proof creating a well balanced, flavorful, and unique spirit. Michelle DeWyngaert
Coppersea Distilling is on a mission to create truly farm-to-bottle whiskies, because it's about time the spirits world caught up to the food and wine world! One of the few distilleries in the US to actually grown much of their own grains with a 75-acre organic farm, and sourcing the rest from other trusted farmers in the Hudson Valley area. They were also the first NY distillery to do all of their malting in house, and they by using open-top fermenters they are entirely reliant on indigenous yeasts making this spirit a true Hudson Valley product. This bottling is unique in that the mashbill is 100% malted rye. This gives it an extra toasty, caramelized flavor compared to most rye whiskies. It is twice distilled in a direct-fired, copper alembic still, and barrel aged at a lower proof of 105 to require less dilution at bottling. Rich and enveloping on the palate with notes of roasted nuts, toasty cereal, caramel softening the peppery spice of the rye. Michelle DeWyngaert
This is a great go-to rye whiskey for cocktails and super approachable. Dave Schmier of Redemption Whiskey makes this with a mash of ~96% rye, 4% malted barley from 2-3year old barrels.Bottled at 41.5% ABV.
Deadwood is always a solid choice for great value whiskey. Crafted by Dave Schmier of Redemption, this straight bourbon is clean, easy drinking, and perfect for cocktails or on the rocks. Distilled in Indiana, the mash is 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malt with a blend of older and new barrels and then chill-filtered to soften the edges. There are no additives, no coloring, and it clocks in at 40.5%abv.
Scotland seems gets all the credit for great whiskey these days, but these days, much of the barley used its coming from England. The English Whiskey Co. Established the St. George's Distillery in 2006, 100 years after the last English distillery had closed, and now the oldest in the country. Their grain and water is all locally sourced, and their casks are aged on site, and bottled without coloring or chill-filtration (something that cannot be said for most Scotch whiskies). On the nose are notes of sweet vanilla bean, cinnamon, toasted cereal, fresh herbs, and roasted nuts. The palate has a medium-weight with notes of honey-drizzled pear, salty caramel, and toffee coated peanuts. A lovely single-malt for sipping over ice, for those who aren't a fan of too much peat. Michelle DeWyngaert
Natterjack Irish whiskey comes from the Gortinore Distillery which was founded in 2016 in a 150 year old wool mill in Kilmacthomas Waterford Ireland. It was then retrofitted with three copper pot stills. Founded by Aidan Mehigan and his cousin Lisa Mehigan. Aidan’s interest in Whiskey started when he visited a distillery in Detroit then started studying distilling for himself. By chance he meet Jordan Via, Master distiller at Breckenridge Colorado and a vision was born. Intrigued by Irish whiskey but never having the chance to make one, Natterjack was created to make something new combining Irish traditions and American techniques. This whiskey is made from 20% Barley and 80% corn and distilled 3 times. Aged for three years and one day in ex-bourbon Barrels then further aged for 6 months in virgin American oak charred at level 4 for another 6 months. With a light golden color and aromas of cereal, oats, vanilla, baked apple pie and slight caramel this leads way to a silky texture with baking spices a touch of oak and malt extract. I think this is a great example of what Irish whiskey should be like and its future. Nelson Dejesus
In 1946, one of the oldest sake breweries in northeast Japan (established in 1765) expanded their operation to whiskey making. As water is one of the most essential ingredients in whiskey-making, their access to the pure melted snow from the surrounding mountains of Fukushima, Japan makes this spirit unique. The Sasakawa Fine Whisky is a blend of 50% malt and 50% grain pot-distilled whiskies, aged separately in used Bourbon barrels, blended together and then aged for three years, bottled at 80 proof.
The mashbill is 80% California Rye, and 20% Malted Rye from the UK, which are double-pot distilled in the Sonoma Distilling Co. facility in the Bay Area. This operation began as a way to highlight the incredible grains of California and the time-honored tradition of making Rye in the US. The Sonoma Rye displays notes of spicy white pepper and stonefruits, but that small percentage of malted Rye really presents itself on the palate with a richer, toastier profile than many domestic Ryes.
The designation of Empire Rye was established in 2015 to distinguish a spirit that is uniquely of New York State and made at a consistent and high level of quality. The specifications require it to be at least 75% NYS grains, distilled to no more than 160 proof, aged in charred, new oak barrels, the entire process must occur at a single NYS distillery The Van Brunt Stillhouse sources their rye from the certified organic Oechsner Farms in Newfield, NY, and distills and bottles at their distillery in Brooklyn, NY. The Empire Rye is over 75% Danko Rye, aged for two years in #2 charred American oak barrels and bottled at 42%ABV. Notes of brown butter, bosc pear, and pumpernickel bread on the nose, and a mellow, creamy palate with notes of nutmeg, vanilla, and peppery, cinnamon Red Hots on the finish. Michelle DeWyngaert
Three childhood friends, two used stills from Switzerland, and a dream, formed the foundation of the West Cork distillery in 2003. This bottling is a single malt first matured in ex-Bourbon casks, then finished in Bodegas Baron Sherry barrels, before bottling at 43% ABV without chill-filtering or and coloring. The Sherry cask gives this peppery Irish Whiskey a softer, sweeter side with notes of dried figs and vanilla.
It's always exciting for us each to select our own cask from Pittsburgh distillery, Wigle! This year we went with a Monongahela Rye that really jumps out of the glass and surprised us with how much flavor and complexity it had. A full five years of barrel aging with a mashbill of 67% Twin Parks Farm Rye, 16.5% Weatherbury Farm Soft White Wheat, and 16.5% Briess Malted Barley, all organically farmed. This is a rich, full bodied rye with notes of dark, roasted pepper, toffee, a bit of dried lavender and clove. The palate has a bit more sweetness than the nose would imply, with notes of crème brûlée, banana, and a white peppery finish with a kick of heat. Drink this with a splash of water or use it for a powerful Sazerac on a cold winter's night. Michelle DeWyngaert
Fermentation gurus, Shane Baker and Pat Heist, decided to put all of their best advice as consultants to work on their own line of whiskies with Wilderness Trail. This single-barrel selection is unique in the Bourbon world for a few reasons. For one, it has one of the highest concentrations of wheat in the mashbill at 24%, with 64% corn, and 12% malted barley. It's also made as a sweet mash, which means instead of using leftover mash from the previous batch to help along the fermentation a la sour mash, each batch is entirely new. The fact that their first batch out of the gate as new distillers is Bottled in Bond is also pretty remarkable because they had to age it for at least four years. This one on the less sweet end of the Bourbon spectrum, and at 50% ABV it certainly has some perceptible heat on the palate. Michelle DeWyngaert