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13th Colony Southern Rye


Merrymash Monk
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Well, if someone in the GBS has or wants to pick up a bottle of the newer label 13th Colony Rye that presumably is the 96/4 mashbill finished in French Oak then I am more than happy to share mine for a side by side tasting!

I am still a bit puzzled by a distillery that has made some effort to emphasize that they distill what they sell but has elected not to say "Distilled By" on the label. Maybe the distillery is just unaware of the negative connotation "Produced By" has, at least amongst the "enthusiast" crowd here.

But I am glad to have James on board here and welcome the opportunity to have him tell us a little more about their whiskey.

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TunnelTiger

Maybe on the road trip y'all are planning you can explain the importance of the term "distilled by" to someone that may end up changing the label.

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TunnelTiger

Passed on this one yesterday because it appears to be the earlier version. A lot of dust on all the bottles and no mention of French Oak on the labels.

My dealer did say she would try and get some of the new bottles and I thought that was very nice since she already has so much sitting on the shelves.

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Passed on this one yesterday because it appears to be the earlier version. A lot of dust on all the bottles and no mention of French Oak on the labels.

My dealer did say she would try and get some of the new bottles and I thought that was very nice since she already has so much sitting on the shelves.

Unfortunately, other than the new label, there does not seem to be any way to tell when the whiskey was made or if the rye is indeed finished in French oak other than looking at the website. Not even sure when the new style label went into affect. Seems like they might want to promote that feature but you wouldn't know it from the label. No batch number, date or any indication of the age is written or printed on the label, whether it be a new one or an old one.

I don't think that would be my approach but then it is not my money invested in the business so they get to call the shots!

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As promised, I have returned with some more information and answers to your questions.

The Southern Rye Label: I want to clarify that there is not a difference in recipe from our old label vs. the new label. Only the label changed to give it a more consistent look with our Southern Bourbon. The new label does have the batch and bottle number on the side though, which the old label did not have. The new labels began hitting the market approximately around April of 2014.

Distilled by vs. Produced by on label: We were unaware of the possible negative connotation with that verbiage. When we started this distillery, we were new to this industry. It has definitely been a learning process. While we may make that change to our label eventually, you would be surprised with the costs associated to make that change, not to mention the process of government label approval.

TunnelTiger, where do you prefer to shop? I would like to stop by and thank them for their support and show them some TLC. I will say that rye whiskeys as a whole tend to move a little slower once you get outside the Atlanta 285 perimeter, as opposed to the inner city.

Why did we choose the 96% Rye and 4% malted Barley recipe? When we decided to make Rye whiskey, we wanted to use the highest amount of Rye that we could without adding extra enzymes to the mash. After doing research and a little trial and error, we landed at 96% Rye.

The website says French oak barrels: Thank you for pointing that out to us. We have a 3rd party that helps us with our website, and sometimes there may be small miscommunications. I have pointed out the error to our team, and the correction will be made soon. Our Southern Rye is aged in charred new American white oak barrels, and then finished with toasted French Oak spirals for the last six months of the aging process.

How did we land at 70% Corn, 25% Rye, and 5% malted Barley for our Southern Bourbon recipe? As you can imagine, since we grow our own corn as well as source it from other local surrounding farmers, Corn is our least costly ingredient. We wanted to produce a tasty bourbon that could be sipped neat or with a splash of water or ice, which we could sell at a price that would not price us out of the market for the masses. We want everyone to be able to enjoy our Southern Bourbon, no matter their budget. We were able to achieve that with this mash bill, while producing a quality bourbon that we are proud of.

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I also snagged a few pictures while at the distillery this past weekend.

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Our President and CEO standing with our still.

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A closer shot of our still.

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Our bottling line.

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Our head distiller with our barrels full of aging whiskey.

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Thanks for the follow up James. Perhaps my bottle was part of the early experimentation of the mashbill formula.

If you have time to explore here a bit you will likely find that we are not at all surprised by the rather labyrinthine process of label approval by the TTB! At least it is a good thing that the extensive approval process helps insure that the TTB always gets it right for the benefit and well being of the consumer...

:lol:

Distilled by vs. Produced by on label: We were unaware of the possible negative connotation with that verbiage. When we started this distillery, we were new to this industry. It has definitely been a learning process. While we may make that change to our label eventually, you would be surprised with the costs associated to make that change, not to mention the process of government label approval.

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Thanks for your continued participation, James, and for taking the time in providing all of the additional info. Whiskey Geeks like us love info straight from the source, and we appreciate your insight. Speaking for myself, I really like what I have heard about your operation and look forward to further exploring your products. Please keep us up to speed on what y'all are working on at 13th Colony, and please jump in all of the other threads, as well.

:toast:

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Tony Santana

I had recently posted in another forum that I bought a bottle of this, more as a novelty than anything else as its not something I ever see on the shelves in these parts. I was unaware of this thread. I just had one pour to check it out and do not have any detailed tasting notes, but I did enjoy it. I'm still relatively new to rye and trying to fully explore exactly what I like (everything from more expensive pours like THH to Bulleit) and what I don't (Rittenhouse just doesn't do the job for me). I tend to like the higher rye mashbills and thought the 13th Colony was a bit tastier than the basic MGP releases, but I also paid a bit more for it than I can get a Templeton or Bulleit around here.

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  • 1 month later...
Merrymash Monk

Well now that I've finally sipped my way through half a bottle of this rye, I thought I'd post about it again. Thank you James for your patience and openness about the product. I know we can be a fussy bunch here on the forum, and you have been quite informative.

I will get right to it and say that of all the different rye whiskeys that I've tried, this has become my favorite. Many others are decent and make a good Manhattan. Some are good for sipping on their own too, but they are usually prohibitively expensive. What we have here is a genuine micro distilled rye whiskey that is well balanced, flavorful and reasonably priced. Yes, I know its only 2 yrs old. And the purists will bristle at the use of French spirals. But the proof is in the tasting and the smelling. I'm not going to go in to tasting notes and all that. But let me just say that I would not hesitate to recommend this rye whiskey.

Congrats to James and everyone at 13th Colony for producing an honest quality product they can be very proud of.

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  • 1 month later...

I'll have to pass. My memories of Americus are tainted with recollections of getting our azz handed to us by the Southland Football team while the school heavy metal band played AC/DC and the Darth Vader theme to their crowd in the stands. I think it was Homecoming too. It doesn't beat another Homecoming where were we also got victimized in Damascus GA where ammo was raffled off at halftime.

Brutal!

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Edit: (which I can't seem to do in the above thread) Next time I am back in Mactown (next to Wartown), I'll have to see if I can acquire a bottle. It sounds like ya'll have more experience in the "production" rather than the "legal" side of things if you know what I mean. Is this a "traditonal" family business? I have a had some olde thyme "artisan" spirits from the Vidalia area that were pretty tasty.

Cheers!

Edited by Vadertime
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Very interesting thread and a bit late on my part but welcome James and many thanks for your information. I became aware of 13th colony years ago just after they started up but didn't see anything on local shelves and they fell off my radar. having just read through this whole thread I am intrigued and look forward to tasting some of the 13th colony products now that they are readily available.

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  • 4 weeks later...

finally opened my bottle last night and I must say this is a mighty tasty rye. Doesn't seem quite as young as I had expected.

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Thank you all for the feedback. It's always nice to hear what experience whiskey drinkers think of our hand crafted whiskeys. I'm really glad to hear y'all are enjoying it!!

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  • 1 month later...

Come out to Mac McGee in Decatur GA on Friday the 12th, and meet our distiller Graham. We'll be there to meet you, answer your questions, and sign bottles from 8pm-10:30. Mac McGee will be running a special on 13th Colony Whiskey flights for just $15!! There's no better way to try all 3 of our whiskeys!!! See you there at he Decatur Square!!!

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