The world of whiskey is an endless ocean of variation, taste and competition. Every year, craft distillers across the country make use of their creative talents and skill to create the best whiskey available on the market. They achieve this by using a variety of ingredients, mash recipes, distillation equipment, distilling methods, and barrel aging techniques. Each new batch is an art form as well as a science to create something truly splendid.
You may be aware that our double pot still system hearkens back to the traditional Scottish and Irish whisk(e)y* stills, in large part to allow us to experiment with high malt mash bills (recipes). If all goes well, we’ll blaze new trails in whiskey profiles and expand whiskey drinkers’ perceptions along the way. At the same time, we’re firm believers in knowing full well the traditions and distillers to whom we’re indebted.
One of the more interesting questions from the last century in whisk(e)y is why Scotch succeeded, while Irish whiskey — until recently — wilted. Namely, why did Scotland’s top export experience a whisky-driven boom throughout many years of the 20th century, while Ireland’s industry withered down to a paltry 4 distilleries in the 1960s?
Before bourbon became bourbon in the 1820s, before the American Revolution began, even before George Washington got his wooden teeth, rum was America’s favorite spirit. (Come to think of it, could rum’s high sugar content have played a part in GW’s wooden grill? He was a fan of Barbados rum, after all.) Given that our stills can, by design, only make whiskey, brandy, and rum, we thought we'd give our thoughts on whether rum is the next bourbon, a question that we've gotten quite a lot recently.
The sunrise splintered the drapes of our room at the Bowmore House B&B just after 6am. The blue that you only find on rural drives and remote islands stretched taut across the horizon. The breeze came in bursts off the Atlantic, still laced with hints of ice on this early May day. My wife and I had finally made it to the crowning jewel of our much-delayed honeymoon: a three-day journey into the heart of Islay and its bounty of whisky bliss. Some biased observers might call it the best honeymoon ever. I fall firmly into this camp.
Browse the whisk(e)y section of your local bottle shop and you’d be forgiven for thinking the juice is made in only one of five countries: Canada, Ireland, Japan, Scotland, and the US. Indeed, you’re hard-pressed to find any shop in Atlanta carrying anything from countries outside of the Big 5 (the Swig 5?). But grains just so happen grow elsewhere in the world, and wherever grain goes, liquid gold is sure to follow.