Todd and Scott Leopold wanted to get back to whiskey of pre-prohibition days using older more time consuming techniques to produce a more subtle and refined whiskey. Their goal, in part, was to extract more of the flavor from the corn and rye and not rely on hammering its customers over the head with flavors from the barrel aging process. This of course is counter to how a lot if not most of whiskey is made today. From their website:
We begin by fermenting a traditional sour mash of corn and rye at colder temperatures, but without the aid of refrigeration. Fermentation takes more time this way, but results in a softer whiskey and develops subtle flavors such as vanilla, pear, rock candy, and raspberry.
Unlike modern day continuous stills that flash boil the mash in a few seconds, we take an entire day to distill the mash in a small batch copper pot still to extract fuller and rounder flavors from the corn and rye. This is a very important step that is no longer part of any major American whiskey distiller’s production regime. The difference between boiling corn and rye mash for a few seconds and six hours can be likened to the difference between slow roasting a pig on a spit, and simply cooking it in a conventional oven. Both add heat, true, but the lengthy boil will extract flavors that cannot be replicated in a continuous still which simply flash boils the mash. While there is nothing inherently wrong with using a continuous still, we prefer the mouthfeel of a pot distilled whiskey which, in our opinion, cannot be replicated by using a continuous still.
After distilling this flavorful result a second time to refine and focus the flavors, we barrel the whiskey at 98 proof, a common practice in the 1800s, rather than at the post-Prohibition, Industrial Age standard of 125 proof. This enables more whiskey to come into contact with the barrel, allowing the mild brown sugar and molasses notes that come from the charred barrels to shine through.
So what kind of a result does this finally give you the consumer? The whiskey is a lighter refreshing style of whiskey. Not completely unlike some lighter scotches such as Glenmorangie Original without the malted barley background.
Aroma: green apples, vanilla, sweet fruit syrup,
Taste: Pear, honey, Vanilla, light brown sugar, grape, apple
Finish: light, medium, more crisp fruit, some pepper
If you are looking for a light crisp whiskey that is outside the norm for American whiskies this might be your ticket. Enjoyable, easy but complex.
43% ABV worth a try