Our 4 Year Journey to Duality Double Malt: The World's 1st Whiskey of Its Kind

In following our progress through the years, you may have noticed a recurring theme: we rarely stick to a script, eschewing what’s conventional in favor of a trailblazing quest to remain true to our whiskey roots.

Our Start 7 Years Ago

When we prepared to first release American Spirit Whiskey seven years ago, we knew the uphill climb that awaited us with the little known category of spirit whiskey. But we liked the taste of the recipe we’d come up with, so instead of starting with vodka, we took a gamble with a clear whiskey. And though selling our clear whiskey for six years without a brown spirit as a portfolio mate could, with great accuracy, be described as “challenging”, or “tough sledding”, or “borderline madness”, we’re proud to look back and say that we remained true to our whiskey roots.

The Beginnings of Distillation at 199 Armour Drive

And when we began distilling on our ridiculously photogenic Scottish-style copper pot stills last year, we again parted with convention. The very first spirit we distilled was a whiskey of rye - but not cereal rye, which forms the basis of nearly all the ryes you find on the shelf today. Rather, malted rye, which uses the most pronounced form (malt) of the most flavorful grain (rye). As our fresh-distilled rye malt whiskey spent time in new oak barrels, it culminated in Resurgens, Atlanta’s first rye since Prohibition, and a unique one at that.

Photo credit: Chris Avedissian

Photo credit: Chris Avedissian

Never ones to rest on our laurels, we next set out to create not just an Atlanta first like Resurgens, but a global first - one that we hope can help put Atlanta on the map internationally as a destination for world-class spirits.

The Blueprint for Duality

Enter Duality, a testament to Justin’s 16 years of single-minded dedication to learning how to make some of the best craft booze in the world. Jim and Charlie met Justin over four years ago and immediately mapped out the idea for Resurgens. Hot on the heels of the idea for Resurgens, though, came Justin’s idea for a whiskey distilled from a mash of 50% malted barley and 50% malted rye. When he mentioned it to Jim one whiskey-sipping afternoon, Jim immediately coined the name “Duality”, a name that describes the dram better than any other could. Little did we know then that Duality is the first whiskey of its kind, anywhere in the world.

An early prototype of the Duality type.

An early prototype of the Duality type.

Hundreds of distilleries use 100% malted barley to create single malts the world over. Midleton in Ireland. Springbank in Scotland. Nikka in Japan. Us here in Georgia. And the list goes on.

Not to mention, a small but skilled handful of distilleries across the U.S. distill a mash of 100% malted rye to produce wonderfully unique whiskeys. In addition to us, San Francisco’s Anchor Distilling comes to mind.

But no distillery we've found has combined these two grains into a singularly flavorful whiskey distilled by pairing the traditional, Scottish-style double copper pot method with the Appalachian innovation of grain-in distillation. We’ve taken to calling Duality a “double malt”, in the most unique sense of the word(s). 

We don't take the term “trailblazing” lightly. We wouldn't use it for what we're doing here if it weren't true. But, through all our years of challenging ourselves, pushing against our own personal limitations, we had - often unbeknownst to us - been setting the stage to push against the broader status quo’s limitations. In this case, the status quo of using malt only in the context of a conventional single malt crafted of malted barley.

A Defining Moment

Duality, then, represents for us a defining moment of sorts, arising from our team’s single-minded concentration on creating not only the best whiskey we can, but one that we hope serves as the touchstone whiskey for aspiring distillers in the years to come, much as Ireland’s Green Spot was for Justin nearly two decades ago.

Duality Double Malt, a whiskey that astounds writers and reviewers the world over with its flavor and finesse. A whiskey with a gorgeous label crafted with every bit of dual symbolism - including a quote from Shakespeare’s MacBeth - that we could pack into a single 5x4” piece of linen paper. And most importantly, a rich, complex whiskey with a dusting of smoke that helps you, our supporters, to forget - if even for just an hour - the trials and tribulations that life brings with it.

A fine label, indeed.

A fine label, indeed.

We would be honored for you to join us for this monumental release on Saturday, August 5, and share this finest of hours with us.

You may reserve your ticket to the release by following this link or clicking the button below.