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Craft whiskey reaching maturity


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Jazz June

Willett's distillate should have recently hit or be about to hit 9 years old, which got me thinking, what other craft distilleries have reached maturity (let's say 8+ years) on their distillate or soon will?

 

Wilderness Trail put out a 6 year age stated bourbon, but I'm not aware of any other higher age statements from craft outfits. I think the oncoming time period in which a lot of the craft distillate hits 8 to 10 years old will be very interesting. It will allow for a more apples to apples comparison with the mid-shelf products from the big guys. There has been discussion here on which craft distilleries people think are going to be able to compete at a high level, but I think an update on that conversation would also be fun. In addition to Willett, New Riff and Wilderness Trail appear to me to be on a good course. My other experiences with craft have been disappointing, but I have a few picks of craft stuff coming so maybe I'll be adding to that list soon.

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WhiskeyBlender
23 hours ago, Jazz June said:

Willett's distillate should have recently hit or be about to hit 9 years old, which got me thinking, what other craft distilleries have reached maturity (let's say 8+ years) on their distillate or soon will?

 

Wilderness Trail put out a 6 year age stated bourbon, but I'm not aware of any other higher age statements from craft outfits. I think the oncoming time period in which a lot of the craft distillate hits 8 to 10 years old will be very interesting. It will allow for a more apples to apples comparison with the mid-shelf products from the big guys. There has been discussion here on which craft distilleries people think are going to be able to compete at a high level, but I think an update on that conversation would also be fun. In addition to Willett, New Riff and Wilderness Trail appear to me to be on a good course. My other experiences with craft have been disappointing, but I have a few picks of craft stuff coming so maybe I'll be adding to that list soon.

Hi @Jazz June, this is a great question. While I'm not sure about every craft distillery out there, I can tell you about some craft Bourbons and rye whiskeys that I've worked with personally that are currently in the 5+ year range, with a few being in the 8 to 10 year range. 

 

The first one that comes to mind would be the "Outryder" barrels from Wyoming Whiskey, which was first distilled by Steve Nally back in 2011. Just in case you aren't aware of that product, "Outryder" is a blend of rye Bourbon and a "rye-ish" whiskey with only 48% rye (Steve apparently wasn't very keen on being asked to distill a rye! 🤣) At any rate, I was just going through the remainder of this stock back in March in order to prepare for this fall's version of the product, and at that time those barrels would have been 9.4 years old. And although it isn't advertised, the stock for Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch, which is their wheated Bourbon, that I've been using for the past few years is in the 5.5 to 6.5 year old range. A few special Bourbon releases are in the 7 year range. 

 

The current Wyoming Whiskey Outryder that is out there (the 2020 release) was bottled when the barrels were 8.8 years old, if you want to try some. I will know for sure later this month when I'm back out to Wyoming, but I believe that they'll be having me pick some single barrels from this stock to release as a 10 year old Single Barrel. 

 

Another craft distillery that comes to mind that has "older" stock and with whom I also work is J. Henry & Sons in Dane, Wisconsin. They began in 2009, and all of their Bourbons have been at least 5 years old. They've also released several 7 and 8 year old single barrel expressions under their Patton Road label, and their annual Limited Edition series contains a fair amount of 8 year old in the blend. They still have a few Bourbon barrels that will turn 10 in October, and some that will turn 9 in July. The very oldest of the stock is a brandy from August 2008! Full discloser for J. Henry- they are seed farmers and have been growing their own grain since the mid 1940's, but they have 45th Parallel Distillery distill it for them. They then age the Bourbon in their own 120+ year old dairy barn. 

 

Yet another craft distillery that I work with is Iron Root Republic, and they released their first 5 year old Bourbon, distilled in 2015 and released in a black bottle under the name "Ichor." 

 

I'm sure that there are others that I'm not thinking of, or haven't worked with, so I don't know what all might be out there. At any rate, what a fun conversation, and thanks for bringing it up! 

 

Photo below: two craft whiskeys in the 8+ year category (WW, 8.8 years, J. Henry, 8 years). 

 

Cheers, 🥃

Nancy

 

 

IMG_6908.jpg

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B.B. Babington

should have, would have, could have

 

in Virginia and North Carolina there are many distilleries that could have had aged material like Wasmunds (now under Copper Fox) or Catoctin Creek.  But these all sold stock at younger age.  Of course our old timers like Lairds and Bowman producing some aged material.  

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Skinsfan1311

New Riff comes to mind.  They're getting to release a 6-year rye.

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I'm actually seeing New Riff in my local grocery store.  Price is not crazy either, around $30.

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Jazzhead

Woodinville's bourbon,  which is excellent, is at least five years old.   

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