View Full Version : Chuck's Craft Distilleries article
Chuck (or anyone else to answer), in the recent article on Craft Distilling in the Jan '07 ed. of the Bourbon Country Reader, there was mention of a producer that experimented using wood from fruit trees as fuel in the malting process to create an infusion/flavoring not unlike peat.
This sounds interesting. Who does this? Has anyone tried it?
Great article too. Asked many questions of the smaller distilleries I never would have.
I haven't seen the article, but I ran across St. George's single malt a while back, which used malt dried over burning beech and alder chips. Of course, those aren't fruit trees.
It had a strong cocoa note to it, to the point that it would be good in hot chocolate.
It's Wasmund in Virginia. Wasmund claims to be the only distillery in North America that malts its own barley. Instead of burning peat to dry it, Wasmund makes a fire from an assortment of cherry and apple wood.
I've seen the Wasmunds on the shelves here in VA but haven't bothered to pick one up. I certainly don't consider myself a Whiskey connaisseur but I was a little suspect of the product looking at the label. At $37 a bottle, I'm not ready to test this Whiskey. Anyone tried it?
In addition to making his own maltings, Wasmund also infuses his distillate with fruitwood chips in an attempt to compensate for the very short time in barrel. The recipe seems to be in a development phase; his first batch was only released last fall, and each batch has been described as individual and evolutionary by people who have tasted them vertically.
I have two relatively early bottles, so it would be unfair to judge the current product based on those. One of those - from batch 4 - struck me as having a powerful sawdust element to the nose, reminiscent of high school woodshop minus the ozone, and a pretty harsh bite on the palate. But again, he's already moved quite a few batches beyond that. Big props for making his own maltings, but a bunch of us are curious how the spirit would turn out with a couple of years in barrel.
Thanks for the info! I wonder if it'll ever make its way out here in CAL.
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