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Ultra
05-02-2010, 03:08
The only way someone could think of the Grand Traverse Distillery as a let down is if they judge a book by it's industrial park cover.

http://i848.photobucket.com/albums/ab49/Autopuzzles/aac35a9e.jpg

The folks there use the still to cook up a lot more than just the vodka that got the distillery on the map.

http://i848.photobucket.com/albums/ab49/Autopuzzles/a6a1e478.jpg

All of their whiskeys are made from White Dog that is distilled separately. They market at the distillery the requisite 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10 liter barrels and they can sell you White Dog varieties in

Wheat,

http://i848.photobucket.com/albums/ab49/Autopuzzles/0b0369ef.jpg

Rye,

http://i848.photobucket.com/albums/ab49/Autopuzzles/730cb211.jpg

Corn,

http://i848.photobucket.com/albums/ab49/Autopuzzles/26f958ec.jpg

Malted Barley and

http://i848.photobucket.com/albums/ab49/Autopuzzles/a6697779.jpg

Peated Malted Barley:

http://i848.photobucket.com/albums/ab49/Autopuzzles/280a11f7.jpg

All in White Dog form for you to mix up your own batches of Whiskey.

Imagine, if you will, a Peated Barley Bourbon. :skep:

Aged Whiskey

http://www.grandtraversedistillery.com/images/product-whiskey-2.jpgHere at the distillery we are excited about whiskey! Whiskey has such a range of flavors and character that the possibilities are endless. Our first idea is to bring back a traditional early American whiskey, rye. Americans enjoyed rye whiskey before prohibition. Rye whiskey offers a unique flavor that is one of a kind. Early Americans did not ask for a shot of corn whiskey, they asked for a shot of rye. Corn liquor did not take off until after the repeal of prohibition. America has thousands of small distillers but the large fee placed on distilleries by the federal government after prohibition eliminated most of them. What was left were the “big boys” and corn cost less than rye.. Distilling corn for whiskey offers a much more neutral spirit vs. rye. We have gone back to the roots of American whiskey and will offer a 100% rye whiskey. We take great care in distilling our rye whiskey, and placed it into new American oak charred barrels. Here the whiskey reacts with the charred barrel and the result is a unique whiskey experience. We are looking forward to introducing these unique whiskey sometime in 2010.
We also have put up a bourbon style whiskey and are using rye as the flavor component. Corn, rye and malted barley are the grains. Corn must be the main grain to be classified bourbon. Our bourbon style whiskey is now aging in barrels. We are looking forward to introducing these unique whiskey sometime in 2011.
A 2nd straight rye whiskey is being barreled at this time. We are using blend of 60% rye and 40% corn. It will offer a different flavor profile than our first 100% rye whiskey. We are looking forward to introducing these unique whiskey sometime in 2011.
As soon as we empty our whiskey barrels we will be distilling a 100% malted barley whiskey and offer something for those who enjoy a single malt whiskey (scotch). A straight wheat whiskey will also be in the works within the year. We will keep you informed on our whiskey adventures with our newsletter so please sign up (http://www.grandtraversedistillery.com/newsletter/index.html).


Anywho, it was great fun to visit Michigan's largest distillery and check it all out. While I was there I asked about getting some of their new rye in a barrel proof and they said that when the next batch of barrels are gotten into they might just be releasing some.

www.grandtraversedistillery.com (http://www.grandtraversedistillery.com)

Special Reserve
05-02-2010, 07:52
Interesting, I'll give the whiskey a go when I see it. Thank for posting this.

Dramiel McHinson
05-02-2010, 20:02
Interesting, I'll give the whiskey a go when I see it. Thank for posting this.

Now that just sounds like fun. I would enjoy working with the different spirits to try my hand at aging it to my own tastes. :yum:

Ultra
05-02-2010, 20:49
Their bourbon will be out in 2011. I am anxious to try it. I think they have made a fantastic 100% Straight Rye right out of the box, their vodka is voted one of the best in the country and everything I tried during the sampling was very good.

harshest
05-03-2010, 06:46
It's funny that is one of the first threads I see here after joining since I just discovered this "local" distillery last Friday. I was bored and was looking for Michigan distilleries. I didn't see any prices on their website so I fired off an email to see what they were all about, here is the response I got.


Hi Doug

The cost for the un-aged whiskey in 1 liter bottles at 125 proof is $26.50 per liter, we offer corn, rye, wheat , malted barley and a peated malted barley. The whiskey barrel which is American white oak and charred comes in 2L at $59.00, 3L at $69, 5L at $89 and the 10L is $134. We can custom blend whatever you would like at 125 proof. Just let us know what mash bill you want.

We are going to sell bottles to put it in very soon. You can also reuse the barrel two more times for aging your whiskey. Please call us with any more specific questions or stop in and see us.

Thanks for your interest and support!

Kent Rabish
Grand Traverse Distillery
781 Industrial Circle, Suite 5
Traverse City, MI 49686
231-947-8635
www.grandtraversedistillery.com

To me this sound very interesting, the next time I am up there I am going to have to stop in.

craigthom
05-03-2010, 16:13
That's an interesting way to make money while waiting for whiskey to age, unlike the usual bottling juice from somewhere else. It's also good to have something for tourists to buy up there besides cherry pie and preserves.

If they really want to get some fudgie money they should make sweet cherry brandy or sweet fortified cherry wine.

I based that on the winery I visited in Wisconsin's cherry country that sold cloying fruit wine to the tourists by the case.

Edit:

OK, I see that they do make a cherry vodka, which should be enough of a hit with the tourists to keep them in business.

Josh
05-03-2010, 17:02
Don't hate on cherry wine. There is some damn good cherry wine out there that is as complex and hefty as any port. Fruit wine should not be a dirty word, and I've had plenty that give most grape wines a run for their money.

craigthom
05-03-2010, 19:21
I wasn't talking about fruit wine in general; I was talking about the sickly sweet crap they sell in Door County, Wisconsin, which is across the lake from and similar to the Traverse City area, in that they are both full of tourists and famous for cherries.

Tourists like the sweet wines. I've seen cases flying out the door. I have no problem with the fact that they make what sells; I'm just not going to buy any.

thanis
05-06-2010, 23:16
Great post. Am I understanding correctly that until 2011, you are not going to be able to buy this on the local shelf?

I'm not much for making it myself, I just don't have the right space for that.

However, I would love to try a MI rye. I'm hopeful for a good MI rye by 2011, just due to geography, as long as it is not terrible, and the price is right, I'll always keep it stocked.

harshest
05-12-2010, 08:08
However, I would love to try a MI rye.

I got their email newsletter this morning and it stated that their Old George 100% Straight Rye Whiskey is available for purchase at the distillery. I states that they have only bottled the first 3 barrels. I sent an email to see how long it was aged, to which they replied, "Ole George is aged in 53 gallon charred oak barrels and is a little over 2 years in these barrels."

One thing I like about these guys is when you email them the owner/operator/master distiller Kent replies in person. In this age of massive companies with out sourced customer service I think that is pretty neat. I can't wait to get up there and pick up a bottle of this stuff.

Anyways here is the link (http://campaign.constantcontact.com/render?v=001ritck83OfZnnS9WneCxIEZ-KQhhImPlgDEd77ozzAs73-WQk81Sr5yU-HmHQ1kCAvXhbsgPi2YfKHr5b-oqipvf1USNlxdgmv8HqsSw0Z6I%3D) to the newsletter if you are interested

Josh
06-14-2010, 15:38
Amy, Pete (Mr. Amy), and I were in the neighborhood on Saturday and stopped by.

Ultra's pics are great but we took some too. :cool: Here's a few:

Me @ the Front Door

10913

Their aging stock
10914

Their experiemental 20 ltr barrels
10915

Amy in the gift shop. That's the rye on the shelf on the right, and the unaged stuff is on the shelf Amy's in front of. The vodka, a rye vodka and a wheat vodka is on the rack on the left.

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We stopped in Pinconning on the way back for a cheese snack. I could not pass up the photo op.

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What I bought. The tall bottle is some of their unaged corn spirit. It has some color b/c they ran out of room in their stainless steel container when they were bottling the stuff, so they had to store it in wood. So they said anyway.

10918

We also went halfsies on a 5 ltr barrel and 5 ltrs of spirit to fill it. There will be a special event at the MBHs get together involving the barrel and the spirit.:grin:

bonneamie
06-14-2010, 19:13
Just tonight, I filled the barrel with distilled water to get it sealed up properly in preparation for the special event.

harshest
06-15-2010, 09:47
There will be a special event at the MBHs get together involving the barrel and the spirit.:grin:

Damn it, now I really wish I could have gotten over there for the get together. Looks like a neat place...so how is the whiskey?

Josh
06-15-2010, 20:02
Damn it, now I really wish I could have gotten over there for the get together. Looks like a neat place...so how is the whiskey?

It's expensive for the age, but it's very good imo. The nose is young, but very fruity (insert bad joke here), like mandarin oranges maybe, or at least orange popcicle. It has a fruity taste and a short, but very enjoyable finish. One of the best young whiskeys I've ever had.

Jono
06-19-2010, 16:38
Thanks for posting the photos and info Josh, a definite future trip to make.

Dr. François
06-19-2010, 21:09
Kent is a great guy and a great distiller. He even came down to Lansing and spoke to a group of my first year law students about intellectual property and the liquor business.

Doggerlander
10-15-2010, 09:07
Kent was very friendly and informative. I liked their whisky and vodka. I've got a 3L barrel going with two liters of corn mash and one of rye. Definitely worth a visit.

Bourbon Boiler
07-06-2011, 20:07
I visited the distillery twice this week. The first time I took a tour (and annoyed my fellow tourists with a lot of questions), and the second was only for a tasting.

As stated in other threads, they distill each of the five grains seperately, and mix and age as appropriate for whatever they're making. They use the same yeast for all five grains. Their top sellers are vodkas, and they market a wheat vodka, a rye vodka, a cherry-infused vodka, and a chocolate flavored vodka. They also sell a rye whiskey (100% rye) that is aged two years in a virgin barrel from IS. They use a #4 char. They are working on a gin and a bourbon that are not availalbe for purchase yet.

The vodkas tasted good to me, which is notable because I am not a vodka drinker at all. I prefered the rye over the wheat, and the cherry infused drink tasted like a very good pre-mixed drink suitable for a hot day. It was only 80 proof IIRC. The chocolate didn't go over well with me, but I'm not a chocolate fan either so it was doomed to fail with my tastebuds.

The "Old George" rye whiskey was a lot better than I anticipated. It was ages two years, but if they would have told me five years I would have believed it. They accredited the "extra" aging to the extreme temperature variations in their building between when the still is running and when it isn't. I don't know if that is correct, but the theory seemed to hold water in such a small building. They said this is available in Michigan, but has been picked up by Binny's in Chi-town.

As mentioned above, they also will mix a white dog to your specifications. They sell barrels, but were sold out of the one liter barrels this week. I left with a liter of 95-5 rye-corn, and another of 51-49 corn-wheat. You can imagine how thrilled my wife was to learn that I will be aging whiskey in our garage or attic.

timd
07-07-2011, 10:04
I've been there a couple of times as well.

I did the aging experiment with a 2 liter and their Rye (75% rye - 25% corn). The fact that Ken will recreate literally any mash bill you can think of is really unique. Their new make is good - and ages up pretty well.

After running the Rye for 6 months, we then bottled that (high ABV and quite tasty!) and are now aging Single Malt Peat in the Rye-soaked barrel! Quite anxious to see how that turns out!

They make some good stuff - the Ol George Rye is nice. Anxious to see what these guys do next and if they'll make it national - being down in TX, I can't get it anymore :skep:

Absolutely worth a visit, and getting 4 liters of juice and 2 liter barrel is the way to go for your first outing - and gives you lots of options to play with. $26/each for a liter of new make & a $50 barrel isn't cheap - but when's the last time you created your very own mash bill and got to age it yourself - and sample during the aging?

Josh
07-11-2011, 11:50
Something I forgot to mention. I was shocked to learn that, according to the young guy, they are not holding ANY of the rye back for longer aging but will start doing that once they expand, whenever that is. Even if it is just to bottle one barrel of 10 y/o stuff down the line or to mix in with the younger stuff, this seems like a very short-sighted policy to me.

OscarV
07-11-2011, 14:17
Even if it is just to bottle one barrel of 10 y/o stuff down the line or to mix in with the younger stuff, this seems like a very short-sighted policy to me.

Yeah, but there are enough people that will buy it because it is small and to their thinking that is better than the "big guys"
With the market being so big today a product doesn't have to be good, all they need is a good image to rake in a small percent that ultimatley is a large pocketfull to them.

Bourbon Boiler
07-11-2011, 17:13
Something I forgot to mention. I was shocked to learn that, according to the young guy, they are not holding ANY of the rye back for longer aging but will start doing that once they expand, whenever that is. Even if it is just to bottle one barrel of 10 y/o stuff down the line or to mix in with the younger stuff, this seems like a very short-sighted policy to me.

From my visits, it didn't look like they were suffering any capacity restraints that would keep them from doing this.

Bourbon Boiler
08-13-2011, 14:57
I received notification this week that they have opened a tasting room in Leland, if anyone is planning on heading up there.