Move over, Scotch: whiskeys distilled in the US
While America is, of course, famous for its bourbon and rye, another type of domestic whiskey is getting popular: single malt. Though the term is usually associated with Scotch, an increasing number of craft distillers across the U.S. are creating unique versions of the spirit. Here are a few to look out for.
ST. GEORGE SINGLE MALT WHISKEY ($70):
One of the first brands in the country to make a single malt, St. George is now selling the 12th release (pictured above) of its tasty malted-barley whiskey. It also just introduced 715 bottles of a special 30th Anniversary Edition ($400), which was finished in a cask that previously held Poire Williams.
UPRISING AMERICAN WHISKEY ($42):
The initial step in distilling any whiskey is to brew beer, but Sons of Liberty Spirits Company in Rhode Island takes this process even further. The base of its Uprising American Whiskey is a rich stout. (It’s made from barley, but it doesn’t technically fit the legal definition of malt whiskey, since some of the barrels it uses are not charred before filling.)
HUDSON SINGLE MALT WHISKEY ($45):
Upstate New York’s Tuthilltown has given traditional Scotch its own spin by aging alcohol in small new American oak barrels. It’s bottled at a potent 92-proof and is full of big, woody flavors.
CORSAIR TRIPLE SMOKE ($45):
Love Scotch from Islay? Then you need to try Corsair’s Triple Smoke. The distillery uses, you guessed it, three different types of smoke to dry different portions of the barley. We detected hints of cherry and other grilled fruits in the spirit.
WASMUND’S SINGLE MALT WHISKY ($37):
There are unique products, and then there’s this single malt from Virginia’s Copper Fox Distillery. The liquor is made from barley that is hand-malted on-site and dried with a blend of apple and cherry wood smoke. And only one barrel at a time is created in the brand’s copper pot still.
This story was originally published at American Single Malts. For more stories like this, subscribe to Liquor.com for the best in all things cocktails and spirits.
Back to Basics: SMaSH Brewing + Recipes
I am by no means a purist when it comes to beer ingredients. Every time someone asks me, “Do you think [insert crazy ingredient here] would be good in a beer?” my answer is always, “throw it in and see what happens!”. Experimentation is one of the greatest joys of homebrewing, and homebrewers are often the first to try things that later become mainstream. That said, sometimes too many ingredients complicate the brewing process and create a beer with too many competing flavors. So as you progress into creating your own homebrew recipes, I recommend getting back to basics first and brewing one of my favorite things: a SMaSH.
What is a SMaSH?
SMaSH stands for Single Malt and Single Hop, and it is exactly that. It is a beer brewed from one base malt and one hop varietal. You can brew a SMaSH with any grain and any hop that you would like, but in general using a base malt like 2-Row Pale or Marris Otter will produce a clear, crisp beer with a pleasant body and mouthfeel. Similarly, while any hop could be use for a SMaSH, medium alpha hops tend to work best because they work well for bittering, flavor, and aroma. While low bitterness hops can be used, you’ll need to add more for bittering than you would for a better bittering hop, which can impart off flavors in your beer. My favorite hop for a SMaSH Pale Ale is Cascade, and my Fresh Cascade SMaSH recipe is below!
Benefits of SMaSH Brewing
It’s Easy, Cheap, and Great for Beginners
There are several benefits to brewing a SMaSH for both novice and seasoned homebrewers. If you’re new to homebrewing or are just switching to all-grain brewing, you can’t do better than a SMaSH for an easy and simple brew day. They are great for building confidence for new all-grain brewers, and are a perfect way to practice the process before brewing more complicated beers. On a similar note, SMaSH beers tend to be VERY inexpensive to brew (I can make a five-gallon batch of my Fresh Cascade SMaSH for about $15), so it’s not QUITE as heartbreaking if it doesn’t turn out great on your first try.
Isolating Ingredients Helps you Understand and Appreciate Them
SMaSH brewing is also a great way to really learn about the ingredients in your beer. When you remove all of the other flavors in a beer, you can really understand and appreciate the flavors of each ingredient that remain. You may find that a specific malt gives you a better body or flavor, and that some hops work well for flavor or aroma, but may not work well for bittering. This approach also allows you to experiment with how the beer changes based on altering the time and amount of hop additions during the boil rather than replacing the hop varietal in a recipe.
Brewing a SMaSH is also the ideal way to test new hop varietals before adding them to more complex recipes in which their flavors may be obscured. SMaSH beers are also a great way to test different yeast because of their simple flavor. Try splitting your batch into 2-5 fermenters and using different yeast in each to see how it affects the final product.
Finally, I have found that SMaSH beers make excellent crowd-pleaser beers that appeal to craft-beer connoisseurs, Bud Light drinkers, and everyone in between. They tend to be crisp, light, and clean, and make excellent summer drinking beers. In fact, I almost always have my Fresh Cascade SMaSH (brewed with fresh homegrown Cascade hops) on tap at home. Here’s the recipe I use, and the hop additions are all measured as dry weight, so pelletized hops will work fine for it as well. If you’re using fresh, wet hops, use about a 4:1 or 5:1 conversion to compensate for the water content of the fresh hops.
Fresh Cascade SMaSH Recipe
Single Malt and Single Hop pale ale using inexpensive malt and homegrown cascade hops. Need help with the all-grain brew day? Check out our All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step Guide and download our FREE printable All-Grain Brewing Step-By-Step worksheet and our Brew Day Worksheets!
- 10 lbs Pale 2-Row Malt
- 1 oz Cascade Hops (At 60 Minutes Minutes)
- 0.5 oz Cascade Hops (At 30 Minutes Minutes)
- 0.5 oz Cascade Hops (At 15 Minutes Minutes)
- 1 tsp Irish Moss (At 15 Minutes Minutes)
- 0.5 oz Cascade Hops (At Flameout)
- 1 Packet US-05 Safale Yeast
- 0.75 oz Cascade Hops (Dry Hopped at Secondary Fermentation)
- Mash at 154 degrees for 60 minutes
- Sparge as usual
- Boil for 60 minutes adding hops per the schedule above using your homegrown cascade hops!
- Cool to 70 degrees, pitch yeast
- Primary fermentation – 10-14 days
- Rack to secondary fermentation – 7-10 days
- Keg/carbonate/bottle as usual
Single Malt and Single Hop pale ale using plain 2-row malt and pelletized mosaic hops.
- 10 lbs Pale 2-Row Malt
- 1 oz Mosaic Hops (At 60 Minutes Minutes)
- 0.5 oz Mosaic Hops (At 30 Minutes Minutes)
- 0.5 oz Mosaic Hops (At 15 Minutes Minutes)
- 1 tsp Irish Moss (At 15 Minutes Minutes)
- 0.5 oz Mosaic Hops (At Flameout)
- 1 Packet US-05 Safale Yeast
- 0.75 oz Mosaic Hops (Dry Hopped at Secondary Fermentation)
- Mash at 154 degrees for 60 minutes
- Sparge as usual
- Boil for 60 minutes adding hops per the schedule above
- Cool to 70 degrees, pitch yeast
- Primary fermentation – 10-14 days
- Rack to secondary fermentation – 7-10 days
- Keg/carbonate/bottle as usual
These recipes are ones the BrewTogether Crew have tested, but you can brew a SMaSH with any grain or hop! Do you have a favorite SMaSH recipe to share, or any other advice for brewers wanting to get into SMaSH brewing? Leave a comment below or check out the SMaSH brewing thread in the BrewTogether Forums to join the discussion!
What is Single Malt Whisk(e)y?
A single malt whiskey is one produced entirely by a single distillery using only malted barley. In Scotland and Ireland, a whiskey must be aged at least three years to be called single malt elsewhere these aging minimums don’t apply. Contrary to common misconception, a single malt whiskey need not be entirely produced using a single pot still and identical barrels many of the finest single malts are aged in various types of wood over the years and are carefully blended together, albeit always with liquor produced from the same barley and in the same distillery, thus the character of the booze remains faithful.
So, are you ready to learn a bit about a few single malts that aren’t Scottish? Here’s hoping so, because that’s kind of the name of the game from here on out.
Classic Vanilla Malted Milkshake
For some, the toasted, nutty flavor of a malted milkshake will bring back memories of hanging out at the soda fountain. But sadly, most of the true old-fashioned soda fountains are gone. So for the younger generations who don't know what a true malted milkshake tastes like, we bring a classic vanilla malted milkshake—and for the older folks we bring back a piece of their childhood. Creamy and thick, a milkshake made with malted milk powder is a true American treat. Ready in under 5 minutes, this is a perfect and decadent dessert or a fun treat for a hot summer afternoon.
Some diners or cafes where they maintain the old crafts might still serve a malted milkshake, and even some trendier spots that want to hearken back to that artisanal era might offer it. But there's no need to search for it, as with very few ingredients you can have this blast from the past at home. Our recipe uses reduced-fat ice cream and low-fat milk. It maintains the same rich flavor and indulgence, though it isn't as straw-defyingly thick as the full-fat counterparts. If you want the more rich version, simply use full-fat milk and ice cream.
Brewing American Pale Ale
Whenever I visit a new brewpub, my eye is invariably drawn first to their beer lineup – how many beers do they have, and are there any unusual seasonals or specialties? But before I explore their range, I first want to check out their craftsmanship for that, I always call for an American pale ale first. Why? Well, it’s a common style that every pub should have, and it allows for some creativity. But it also takes a little bit of finesse and is a good measure of the brewer’s skill. The same holds true with homebrewers don’t tell me about all the oddball beers you can make. Show me first that you have your basic skills down. Give me an everyday American pale ale.
Originally developed as a riff on English Pale Ale using American ingredients, American pale ale is the mainstream hoppy beer all across the country, even if there is significant regional variation in the style. It’s an average strength beer, so you’d expect it to be around 5% ABV and not have a noticeable alcohol flavor or warmth. It’s a hop-focused beer, so you’d expect the balance to be less towards the malt than the hops. And it’s a pale beer, which simply means “anything lighter than brown” to most people. Within those general parameters, brewers have a lot of flexibility to experiment. However, an American pale ale should always be very drinkable.
I like to think about the “style space” a beer occupies. That is, which styles of beer are closest to the style you are discussing, and which variables are different. As far as hoppiness and strength, an American pale ale fits between a blonde ale and an American IPA. Back off on the hops (and maybe the strength) and you have a blonde ale. Increase the strength (and maybe the hops) and you have an IPA. Tweak the malt-hop balance to favor the malt a bit more, and you have either an American amber ale or American brown ale (add more crystal malt for an amber, add some chocolate malt for a brown). Play around with the varieties of malt, hops and yeast while keeping the strength and balance the same, and you have an English or Belgian pale ale. Knowing the nearest neighbors in the style space is helpful if you brew a beer but miss the mark on style. It might hit one of the neighboring styles.
Before we talk about the details of the style, let’s first discuss the most common stylistic errors that brewers make. I’m not talking about the obvious brewing or handling faults (phenolics, oxidation, light-struck, etc.) I mean balance and drinkability issues. In American pale ales, the biggest faults that harm drinkability are excessive body, too much sweetness and lingering harshness. Beers that have too much body, residual sweetness and/or alcohol are more difficult to drink. Think of barleywines they are sipping beers that you enjoy slowly. In contrast, it should be easy to drink several pints of American pale ale. The body should be no more than medium (medium-light is better). The finish should be fairly dry it can have a moderately malty palate but the finish should not have much residual sugar. Alcohol shouldn’t be noticeable. Get these three points right (body, finish, alcohol) and you should have a fairly drinkable beer.
Harshness is another matter entirely. It is a common problem with beers that use a lot of hops. In my experience, hop-derived harshness comes from four factors: the quantity of hops used, the amount of time the hops are boiled, the water chemistry, and the chemical makeup of the hop varieties used. While there are no hard and fast rules, be aware of these general guidelines. The more hops you use and the longer they are boiled, the harsher your beer can be. Large amounts of hops can give vegetal flavors, and long boils can extract harsh compounds. Brew water with a high pH, high residual alkalinity or high sulfate content can lead to harshness in a pale hoppy beer (John Palmer has written extensively on this topic). Hops with low cohumulone (check the varieties against data from places like HopUnion, “low” is under 30%) are known to have a smoother flavor. If your pale ales are harsh, try adjusting each of these factors and see if they make a difference for you.
So now that we’ve discussed what an American Pale Ale shouldn’t be, let’s talk about what to do to get a proper character to your beer. The water, yeast and malt are creating the blank canvas upon which your hoppy artwork will be displayed. Water is fairly simple. It should be low in carbonates, have some available calcium and have low alkalinity. If you are starting with distilled or RO water, add a little calcium chloride. It’s the most neutral form of calcium. Some sulfates are acceptable, but too much and the hops will take on a sharp edge.
Yeast selection is fairly straightforward. Any clean, neutral American strain that attenuates well will do. The obvious choices are White Labs WLP001 California Ale, Wyeast 1056 American Ale and Fermentis Safale US-05. But I like to experiment with some of the other strains. I really like the Wyeast 1272 American Ale II for pale ales and IPAs, and I’ve had good luck with the WLP060 American Blend. Keep the fermentation temperatures restrained, in the 65-70 °F (18-21°C) range. You may be able to use some of the cleaner British strains, such as White Labs WLP002 English Ale or Wyeast 1968 London ESB Ale if you keep the temperatures closer to 65 °F (18 °C). Light fruitiness from yeast is acceptable in this style, but is usually restrained.
The grain bill for an American pale ale is fairly simple as well. The majority of the grist should be pale malt, typically domestic two-row (I use Briess). You might be able to use English pale ale malt (Crisp Maris Otter is my favorite) or a Belgian pale ale malt (like Dingemans). I also sometimes like to use German Vienna malt in some of my malty beers (Durst is my choice). But first use a simple grain bill consisting of mostly US two-row to get a flavor similar to most US commercial and brewpub examples.
Most all-grain brewers will add a small amount of wheat (under 3%) to aid in head retention. The base grains previously mentioned plus any wheat should constitute at least 90% of the grist, up to 100%. The remaining grains are where the brewer can experiment. Usually some crystal malt is used, but not as much as in an English Pale Ale or an American Amber Ale. Something light in color (40 °L or lower) works best. I like to use Belgian crystal malts, such as CaraVienne as well. Watch overuse of crystal malts, especially the very lightly kilned ones, as they are often designed to add dextrins (unfermentables) to the beer. Be very light-handed in the use of darker crystal malts you don’t want the color or the flavor. Too much crystal malt will make the beer too sweet and have too much body.
Some brewers add other character malts, such as Victory, Biscuit, or special roast, but I think these flavors are distracting. You do not want a muddy-flavored beer, and that’s what you can get if you use too many different types of malts. Any roasted flavors are inappropriate, even if they can add a little dryness to the beer (as in an Irish Red Ale). Keep it simple, especially when first brewing the style. Freshness of ingredients matters as well.
A single-infusion mash is appropriate for this style, keeping it on the low end of the range (148-152 °F/64-67 °C). With the simple grain bill and lack of unusual specialty grains, this style is perfect for extract brewers. Use fresh, light-colored American malt extract with good fermentability. Steep crystal-grains at 155 °F (68 °C) for a half hour before adding the malt extract. Extract brewers or all-grain brewers mashing at the high end of the range may wish to add up to 10% sugar to make sure the body isn’t excessive. I think adding a little orange blossom honey is also an interesting touch.
The choice and use of hops is the most important factor in the overall profile of this beer. Hops should be showcased in the bitterness, flavor and aroma of this style. Freshness of ingredients is very important, particularly for the late hops. The choices you have to make regarding hops are primarily the quantity and variety of hops, the level of bitterness, the flavor hop method, and the aroma hop method.
Hops used in an American Pale Ale are typically (but not always exclusively) American varieties. One of the regional variations I mentioned earlier is the type of hop character in the beer. Many examples in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California feature strong citrusy and piney flavors. However, hops with floral and spicy qualities are also quite nice in this beer. Classic American hops used in this style are Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, and Chinook (the “C” hops). More modern choices include Amarillo, Ahtanum, Simcoe and Glacier. I sometimes like to use noble-type hops, including American varieties such as Santiam, Crystal, Liberty or Sterling, especially as flavor additions. All are fine, but beware of mixing too many different varieties of hops. Some of the flavors might clash.
Some of my favorite combinations are using Cascade and Centennial together, or using Amarillo with Simcoe. I like to use less than four varieties of late hops in an American Pale Ale, often just using two. American Pale Ale is also a great style for making as a single hop varietal beer. Nothing will teach you the character of a hop variety better than using nothing but that type of hop in your beer.
Bittering hops are usually a higher alpha variety so that less vegetal matter will be introduced into the boil. Use a clean, neutral bittering hop such as Warrior, Magnum or Horizon, or use a higher-alpha multi-purpose American hop such as Columbus or Chinook. The level of bitterness varies greatly within this style. West Coast versions tend to be at the higher end of the range (over 40 IBUs), while most moderate examples will be in the low-mid 30s. Keep in mind that a drier beer needs less bitterness to seem balanced.
There are some interesting choices for late hop (flavor and aroma) additions. The classic method is to simply add flavor hops during the last 10-15 minutes of the boil, and the aroma hops in the last 5 minutes or less. That works fine, and is the baseline for experimentation. Dry hopping is a technique where additional hop aroma can be gained by adding hops to the secondary fermentation. You can use between 0.5 oz and 2 oz (14-56 g) per 5-gallon (19-L) batch. Note, however, that dry hopping often imparts a grassy, vegetal note that some may not like. Limit contact time of dry hops with your beer to a week or less to help limit the vegetal flavors.
In recent years, I have gotten away from dry-hopping my American Pale Ales. I prefer the more refined aroma that you get from using a hopback or from adding hops at the end of the boil or in the whirlpool. Giving the hops some heat helps remove those raw aromatics, but you have to cool the beer rapidly from this point so as to keep the liberated aromatics within the beer.
I really like to use first-wort hopping with American Pale Ales. I add my flavor hop addition to the kettle and run my hot wort onto them. I calculate they give you the same amount of IBUs as a 20-minute bittering hop addition. Contrary to what some have written, I don’t find first-wort hopping gives much aroma, but it does give a ton of flavor. The flavor is different than if used late in the boil it is more refined and elegant, and seems better blended with the beer. I don’t have an explanation for this, but it’s what I perceive.
One final hop method you may want to explore is the use of nothing but late hop additions. You have to use more hops this way, but the chance of getting a harsh hop bitterness is vastly reduced. Add all your hops within the last 20 minutes of the boil, adjusting your amounts to compensate for the reduced utilization. I think this is a similar method to adding your dark roasted grains during the sparge when making a dark beer. Less contact time with heat extracts less tannins, which makes for a smoother beer.
My recommendation is to first try to brew a classic American Pale Ale to make sure your process is solid. Then start adjusting variables and trying out different hop varieties, techniques, grain bills and yeasts. Keep good records and see what you like. Don’t be afraid to experiment and to try new hop combinations. Just keep in mind that as with all hoppy beers, American Pale Ales are best enjoyed when fresh.
Classic American Pale Ale
(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.050 (12.3 °P)
FG = 1.011 (2.7 °P)
IBUs = 40 SRM = 6 ABV = 5.1%
This is an all-grain version of my first American Pale Ale recipe. It won gold medals in five different competitions before my wife drank it all.
8.5 lbs (3.86 kg) American two-row malt
0.25 lb (113 g) Crystal malt (20 °L)
0.5 lb (226 g) CaraVienne malt
7 AAU Columbus whole hops (0.5 oz/14g at 14% alpha acids) (60 min.)
0.5 oz (14 g) Centennial whole hops 11% alpha acids (15 min.)
0.5 oz (14 g) Cascade whole hops 6% alpha acids (5 min.)
1 oz (28 g) Cascade whole hops 6% alpha acids (0 min.)
1.5 oz (42 g) Centennial whole hops 11% alpha acids (dry)
Wyeast 1272 (American Ale II) yeast
Step by Step
Mill grains and dough-in using RO water until a medium thickness mash is achieved. Treat mash with 1 tsp calcium chloride. Hold mash at 152 °F (67 °C) until conversion is complete. Sparge slowly with 170 °F (77 °C) RO water treated with 2 tsp phosphoric acid, collecting 6 gallons (22.7 L). Bring wort to a boil.
After the hot break, add the first charge of bittering hops. Boil for 60 additional minutes, adding the other hops per the hopping schedule. Allow the wort to rest for 5 minutes, then chill rapidly to 65 °F (18 °C). Rack to fermenter, leaving break material behind. Oxygenate, pitch the yeast, and ferment at 68 °F (20 °C). Fermentation should be done in less than a week, but don’t rush it.
After the yeast has mostly settled, prepare a secondary fermenter (carboy). Blow in some CO2 to displace any oxygen, add the dry hops and rack the fermented beer on top of the dry hops, minimizing splashing. Leave the beer in contact with the hops for a week.
Rack to a keg and force carbonate, or rack to a bottling bucket, add priming sugar and bottle. Target a carbonation level of 2 to 2.5 volumes.
Variation: Add 0.5 lb (0.45 kg) Orange Blossom honey in the last 15 min of the boil.
Classic American Pale Ale
(5 gallons/19L, extract plus grains)
Substitute 6.4 lbs (2.9 kg) of light-colored American liquid malt extract or 5.1 lbs (2.3 kg) of very pale dry malt extract for the American two-row malt. Mill the specialty grains and put them in a grain bag. Steep the bag in the 6 gallons (22.7 L) of strike water (RO water treated with 1 tsp calcium chloride) at 155 °F (68 °C) for 30 minutes. Lift the bag from the water and rinse gently with hot water. Let the bag drip into the kettle while adding the malt extract. Stir thoroughly and bring to a boil. Follow the main recipe from there.
Avant Garde American Pale Ale
(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.060 (14.7 °P)
FG = 1.012 (3 °P)
IBUs = 45 SRM = 10 ABV = 6.3%
This beer won a gold medal in the first round of the 2008 NHC competition.
6.5 lb (2.9 kg) Maris Otter malt
1 lb (0.45 kg) Vienna malt
0.75 lb (340 g) crystal malt (40 °L)
0.25 lb (113 g) crystal malt (80 °L)
0.5 lb (226 g) wheat malt
1 lb (0.45 kg) white sugar
1 oz (28g) Amarillo whole hops 8% AA (FWH)
0.5 oz (14 g) Columbus whole hops 14% AA (15 min.)
0.5 oz (14 g) Columbus whole hops 14% AA (10 min.)
0.5 oz (14 g) Simcoe whole hops 12% AA (5 min.)
1 oz (28 g) Amarillo whole hops 8% AA (2 min.)
0.5 oz (14 g) Simcoe whole hops 12% AA (0 min.)
White Labs WLP060 American Blend yeast
Step by Step
Mill grains and dough-in using RO water until a medium thickness mash is achieved. Treat mash with 1 tsp calcium chloride. Hold mash at 150 °F (66 °C) until conversion is complete. Add first wort hops to kettle. Sparge slowly with 170 °F (77 °C) RO water treated with 2 tsp phosphoric acid, collecting 6.5 gallons (24.6 L). Bring wort to a boil.
After the hot break, add the sugar. Boil for 75 additional minutes, adding the hops per the hopping schedule. Allow the wort to rest for 5 minutes, then chill rapidly to 68 °F (20 °C). Rack to fermenter, leaving break material behind. Oxygenate, pitch the yeast, and ferment at 70 °F (21 °C). Fermentation should be done in less than a week, but don’t rush it.
After the beer has dropped bright, rack to a keg and force carbonate, or rack to a bottling bucket, add priming sugar and bottle. Target a carbonation level of 2 to 2.5 volumes.
Avant Garde American Pale Ale
(5 gallons/19 L, extract plus grains)
Substitute 6 lbs (2.7 kg) of light-colored American liquid malt extract or 4.8 (2.2 kg) lbs of very pale dry malt extract for the Maris Otter, Vienna and Wheat malts. Mill the crystal malts and put them in a grain bag. Steep the bag in the 6.5 gallons (24.6L) of strike water (RO water treated with 1 tsp calcium chloride) at 155 °F (68 °C) for 30 minutes. Lift the bag from the water and rinse gently with hot water. Let the bag drip into the kettle while adding the malt extract and the first wort hops. Stir thoroughly and bring to a boil. Follow the main recipe from there.
Base Malt Extract Essentials
Let’s see a show of hands. Everyone who was brewing when Blue Ribbon malt extract was the only “beermaking” extract you could find, raise your hand. OK. Now let’s see how many of you know what base malt was used to make Blue Ribbon. No hands? I didn’t think so. It’s only been within the last 20 years that most homebrewers developed a desire to know not just whether their products would make beer, but exactly how those products are derived. In his article on base malts, Mark Garetz walks you through five malts that are used as a base in all-grain brewing. Which begs the questions — what are the base malts used to make malt extract, and if you want to work with one of the malts Mark mentioned, which extract do you use?
By starting with an unhopped, 100 percent malt extract, a skilled homebrewer can create almost any beer style in existence. Today’s high-quality malt extracts — the well-known “name brands” that are formulated specifically for brewing — have a high degree of fermentability, sufficient FAN (free amino nitrogen) for yeast nutrition and mid-sized proteins fora creamy, long-lasting head. These top-of-the-line extracts are made with choice base malt, usually from the barley variety that’s dominant in the country where the extract is produced. In the United States, for example, that would be Harrington two-row pale malt. Depending on the extract type, specialty malts also may be included. No manufacturer is going to release their recipe, but with careful tasting and experience, it’s possible to make an educated guess about what malts your favorite brand includes.
The most important thing to remember when selecting an unhopped malt extract is this: If you are not working with a high-quality extract, it does not matter what base malt produced it. Stick with extract producers who have been recognized as making high-quality extracts intended primarily for beer making. Next, seek out technical information on the malt extract
you’re considering. This will tell you if the base malt used in producing the extract is the same as, or similar to, the base malt you would use in all-grain brew. All the better producers include this information on their Websites, so read the spec sheet carefully.
The age of the malt extract is also important. It doesn’t matter if the base grain used in producing a malt extract was a lightly kilned pilsner malt if the extract in the can is two years old. It will be dark. Look for the “use by” date or the production date on the bottom of the can. If there is no date, either try a different brand, or look for a brand that seems to be selling through well at your local shop. And always purchase a maltextract that specifically says “100 percent malt extract.” If it doesn’t specify that, the extract could be cut with cheap corn syrup.
Let’s run down each of the five basemalts in the article and see how they translate to unhopped malt extracts. I mention a few brand names by way of example, but this list is not meant to be comprehensive. If you have a favorite extract brand, simply do a little research and learn about the base malts that are used to produce it.
Two-Row Pale & Pale Ale Malt
Two-row pale malt is the base for almost all ales, and is also the base grain used in almost all malt extract production. As long as the malt extract is from a quality producer, you can substitute “Light” or “Extra-Light” malt extract for just about any recipe that calls for two-row or pale ale malt. This includes liquid or dry malt extract.
Coopers uses two-row Schooner, an Australian pilsner barley, in the production of its extracts. To my knowledge, Coopers is the only company that uses pilsner barley in the production of malt extract. Many producers offer an “Extra-Light” malt extract in both liquid and dry form that will work well also.
Vienna malt is rarely used by commercial brewers these days and is not used at all in malt extract production. You can best simulate the body and color of Vienna malt by combining in equal quantities a relatively light Amber DME, likeMuntons Amber, with a Light DME.
Briess Amber contains between 15 to 50 percent Munich malt. You can substitute it for Munich, but you’ll be guessing a bit on the ratios. St. Patrick’s of Texas has a proprietary product, Maries malt extract, that is 50 percent Munich. If your Oktoberfest recipe calls for up to 25 percent Munich malt, then a 50-50 mix of either of these two extracts with a good Light malt extract will put you in the right ballpark.
– Mark Henry
Jimbo's easy 1/2barrel Wheated Bourbon and Gumballhead
Post by Jimbo » Wed May 15, 2013 7:39 am
Ok some explainin I guess on that weird title. There's 2 recipe's in this post, back to back, which is how they are made. The first is an All Grain Wheated Bourbon. Similar in style to Makers Mark, Pappy Van Winkle and some others that use wheat instead of rye in their bourbon. You can also make it with rye replacing the wheat if thats your taste. Im partial to the warm buttery smooth fruity notes from wheat myself. Rye will be similar but with a floral aroma and a little spicier flavor. Allso damn fine, think Knob Creek, Basil Haydens, Four Roses and many others.
The second recipe is a sugarhead made with the spent grains. Since its wheated, and its a sugarhead, and my favorite wheat beer ever is Three Floyds Gumballhead, I stole his name for this. Its a nice drinkin likker but especially good for pantydroppers and flavored stuff.
I call this recipe 'easy' because I dont cook the corn over fire. Lazy bastard that I am. I boil the water, then add the corn and let it steep cook for several hours, wrapped in a blanket. It works great, gelatinizes the corn just fine. Finally, 1/2barrel is in the title because it is tuned for a 15.5gal 1/2 barrel BAP (big ass pot) cooker. Keg with the top cut out. And a 15.5g still.
WHEATED BOURBON RECIPE (Edited April 2015)
10 gallons water
2 gallons backset (to lower the pH of the mash. Or sub with 2 more gal water and 15ml lactic acid)
4 teaspoons gypsum (calcium sulfate, lowers the pH a tad and yeast like Calcium)
22 lbs cracked corn (washed and drained with warm water in a bucket)
OR 16 lbs corn meal (corn meal converts more efficiently due to much smaller crack size).
5 lbs wheat malt, milled.
3 lbs 6 row, milled (or 2 row, or use 8 lbs wheat malt total)
A good ale yeast (US-04, US-05, Nottingham, Wyeast 1272, WLP023 Burton or similar) 2-3 packets, or a healthy starter.
A note on yeasts, US-05, Nottingham, WLP001 and Wyeast 1272 are very clean fermenting and produce very little esters. Make a great whiskey. US-04, WLP023 Burton and many other English style yeasts produce more fruity esters that will come across in the bourbon. The cuts get trickier and the final yield might be slightly less for these estery English yeasts but it does add a nice interesting touch to the bourbon.
1 - Bring the water, backset and gypsum to a boil in your half barrel BAP. It takes a while, and helps if you wrap a flame proof insulating blanket around the pot while its heating up. I usually quit at 205F out of impatience, and to avoid boiling the oxygen out of the water (yeast need oxygen).
2 - Turn the heat off and stir in the corn.
3 - Wrap it up in extra blankets, even if you have the flame proof insulator on it. And let it steep cook for several hours or overnight. Note the corn is pasteurized now so nothing funky is gonna grow in there. Helps to stir a few times as the corn will settle.
4 - After 3+ hours (I do overnight) remove the blankets, stir well and check temp. When I make this, I start the process at 8PM, stir in my corn by 10PM and at 9AM in the morning its 155F or so still. So if you wrap it up well it will hold temp just fine.
5 - Point a big fan at the BAP and stir a few minutes, it will drop fast, watch it. at 146F, stir in the 8 lbs milled malt and wrap it back up tight in blankets. Stir occasionally.
6. After 90 minutes cool to 80F and pitch yeast. A starter is recommended to get a good healthy start to fermentation. Note the typical whiskey mashing process does not involve pasteurization, and this is fine if youre careful about sanitizing equipment and not delaying the cooling from mash to pitch temp. Bacteria thrive in that range between 80 and 150. So its important to give the yeast the head start, not the bacteria. For bakers or distillers yeast (DADY) ferment at 80F, for Beer Ale yeasts ferment at 65-70F.
7 - It will be mostly done in 3-4 days, if you leave it to ferment out dry 5-7 days the yeast will add more fruityness (a good thing). Commercial distillers would like to do this but dont have the time, for economical reasons. Some push to 60+ hours to try and get more fruit. We do have the time But watch it and dont let it go longer than 7 days ever. The corn was pastuerized, the 8 lbs malt not, so the bugs will take off on you and feed on the yeast autolyses products and youll risk ruining a batch of nice bourbon fixens.
8 - When its done, squeeze out the grain through a large mesh grain bag. This isint as hard as some people make out. 20 minutes and Im done, and will get close to 11 gallons to distill. Let it sit overnight to settle out. The cloudyness is yeast. You dont want to distill that if you can avoid it, but if in a pinch for time its fine, Im hard pressed to taste any difference when I have run cloudy washes.
9 - rack the clear wash off the top of the settling buckets into your 1/2brl still. Do a quick stripper run. Pitch 6 oz of fores. I run the stripper until the low wines avg about 30%. You could go a bit longer but youre burning a lot of propane for a little bit of alcohol. (Whiskey distilleries typically go to 20% low wines, economics, and the large steam boilers are already running anyway). Save the backset from the stripper for next time. Its sterile, so stores fine in a sterilized bucket. You can also freeze blocks in gallon ziplock bags. Ive done both.
10 - Run the low wines slower in a spirit run. Pitch another 6 oz fores.
Cuts and Yield:
Make your cuts to taste. This recipe gives me 4 quarts at 56% usually, without feints added to the runs, or a higher yield if you have feints to add.
Age on toasted and charred all around oak. Dont touch it for 4 months, at that point its damn good. And only gets better with more time.
At todays grain prices $11/ 50lbs corn, $48/50lb wheat and $46/50lb 6row, This works out to $11.22 for 7 fifths of 80 proof. Or $1.60 a fifth. (not counting yeast, I use harvested yeast from beer runs).
Why do I distill? My answer in another thread on here - Im a cheap bastard with expensive tastes.
A note on oak aging, according to Jimbo - Oak needs to be toasted at 400-450 for 2-4 hours AND then charred all sides exposed to likker. Lots of ways to do this. Raw wood baked and charred gives more sweetness faster. Used barrels are great. Take a little longer. JD staves from a half barrel planter work great. I cut them into 1x1x5 inch sticks, and char the unexposed 5 surfaces with a torch. They are already toasted so dont need that treatment. Soak charred wood for several hours in water to remove some tannins and grit. For the JD sticks 1 ea 1x1x5 stick per quart. This is 88 sq inches per gallon. A 55g barrel gives about 52 square inches per gallon. I havent done the math on 5 gallon barrels yet but them used Balcones barrels sure are nice, I have 3.
BOURBON GUMBALLHEAD RECIPE Delicious sugarhead drinkin likker.
Instead of dumping that pile of squeezed out spent grain (and goo from the bottom of the settling buckets) in the compost (like I used to do! ugh) cook up 16 lbs of sugar with 2 gallons of the backset from the stripper run above and 10 gallons water. Cool and pour over the spent grain. There's plenty yeast embedded in the grain so no need for more yeast. This baby will start up quick and ferment out fast, 1.061 to 1.000 in 4 days. Squeeze it out like above, let it settle and run it twice, all same as above. You could pull a couple quarts of hearts out of the first run for a sweeter tasting shine. The second run will be cleaner. With the bourbon feints from above added, the yield is about 6 quarts of 56% or so! At the price I paid for sugar at Aldi last time this works out to .98 per 80 proof fifth! Age on oak. Life is good.
Taste Test: Single Malt Scotch
For our March/April 2021 issue, we explore the world of Scotch whisky, and it&rsquos impossible to talk about the joys of scotch without talking about the sublimity of single malts. In legal terms, single malt Scotch whisky must be made solely from malted barley, yeast, and water, distilled on pot stills at a single distillery in Scotland, and matured in an oak vessel in Scotland for a minimum of three years. But within this narrow definition there&rsquos plenty of room for creative diversity: the manner in which the barley was malted, dried, and prepared the size and shape of the still the length of time the whisky was matured and the type of barrel (or barrels) that were used&mdashthese, and other variables, all shape the whisky that goes into the bottle.
The galaxy of single malt Scotch whiskies is vast, and expanding. Here are a few stars to help you start navigating your own whisky explorations. Check with local retailers or online shops such as astorwines.com or binnys.com for pricing and availability.
anCnoc Translated from Gaelic as &ldquothe hill,&rdquo anCnoc is made at the Knockdhu distillery in the Scottish Highlands. The 12 Year Old is light yet complex, with a fragrance of summer berries and orchard fruit, and hazelnuts and honey in the glass. The 24 Year Old dips into deeper territory, touched with licorice, toffee, and crème caramel, while Rascan is a delicately peated expression balancing honey and smoke.
Ardbeg This Islay distillery is reputed for making some of the most intensely peated whiskies in Scotland, weaving the powerful smokiness in elaborate tapestries of flavor. Ardbeg&rsquos 10 Year Old matches citrus zest and tropical fruit against deeper layers of coffee, licorice, and tar, while Uigeadail&mdashnamed for the loch from which Ardbeg gets its water&mdashis redolent of cedar, walnuts, and beach bonfires, while its flavor is rich with baking spice, honey, and bacon. An Oa is formed by marrying whiskies aged in an array of barrel styles (Pedro Ximenez, virgin charred oak, ex-bourbon cask, and more), yielding a shimmer of aromatics, with aniseed cookies meeting dark chocolate and spice, and flavors of orange peel, tea leaves, and nutmeg. Corryvreckan comes in at more than 114 proof with a powerful aroma of brown sugar, chocolate, seaweed, and creosote, and its flavor is similarly robust, dense with black pepper, anise, and coffee. And while whisky drinkers often (mistakenly) equate older with better, Ardbeg&rsquos Wee Beastie eats that notion alive&mdashonly 5 years old, the whisky has the energy and exuberance of a puppy (but heavily peated and weighing in at more than 94 proof, this is more Great Dane than dachshund), with a peppery, resinous smoke leaping from the glass, and a palate that&rsquos salty and savory, laced with eucalyptus and chocolate.
Balblair Balblair is one of the oldest working distilleries in the Highlands. The 12 Year Old offers gentle brushes of graham crackers and toasted coconut on the nose, while in the glass it&rsquos rich with creamy toffee and lightened with a crisp whiff of menthol. The 15 Year Old ventures further in the direction of toasted cereal, nut milk, and almond skin, with winter spice and oat cakes emerging on the palate, and a lingering, velvety finish. The 18 Year Old is roasty and round, with a core character of orchard fruit and honey accented with toasted cake, the whisky&rsquos brightness and depth in perfect balance.
The Balvenie The Balvenie is one of the more prominent distilleries in Speyside, and its flagship malt makes it easy to see why. The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 first spends 12 years in traditional whisky casks (ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads), then rests for another 9 months in oloroso sherry casks. The result is a malt that&rsquos fragrant with anise, dried tobacco, cocoa, and coconut, and with gentle flavors of fresh cereal, stone fruit, and buttered toast in the glass.
Benriach This Speyside distillery is renowned for elegant whiskies that evince an excellent interplay between whisky styles and cask maturation. The Original Ten incorporates malts matured in three styles of cask (ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, and virgin oak), stacking the characteristics of these barrels in layers of orchard fruit, honey, and toasted oats, with a lacing of almond milk and the faintest wisp of smoke. The Twelve swaps the virgin oak barrels for port casks, adding a depth of cocoa, coffee, and dried fruit to the mix. For The Smoky Ten, the distillery added the traditional touch of mixing in peated whisky and incorporated Jamaican rum barrels into the equation, resulting in a shimmering richness of honey glaze, candied pears, and baking spice. The Smoky Twelve repeats the peat process but combines whiskies aged in bourbon, sherry, and Marsala casks, resulting in a creamy spirit full of toasted nuts, orange peel, and chocolate, with a lingering brown sugar finish.
Bowmore An Islay distillery dating to 1779, Bowmore takes its whisky-making heritage to heart, still malting and kiln-drying its barley on site. The 12 Year Old has a graceful fragrance of sea spray, lemon zest, and smoke, and flavors of tea, cocoa, and toasted wood emerge in the glass. The 15 Year Old is matured first in bourbon barrels, then oloroso sherry casks, resulting in a whisky aromatic with dried fruit and forest canopy, and flavors of brown butter, salted caramel, and molasses cookies. The 18 Year Old is dense and rich, with an ethereal smokiness hovering over flavors of fruit tart, pastry cream, and dark chocolate, like lingering near the dessert table at a summer cookout.
Glenfiddich The single malts from Glenfiddich are among the world&rsquos most popular Scotch whiskies, and Glenfiddich&rsquos Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 demonstrates the distillery&rsquos appeal. A single malt built for bourbon drinkers, the whisky is first aged for 14 years in ex-bourbon barrels, then finished in new charred American oak barrels from Louisville. Lively with the brightness of lemon peel and honeysuckle, this whisky has deep flavors of caramel, toasted cinnamon, almonds, and ripe stone fruit.
Glenmorangie Using the tallest distilleries in Scotland (dubbed &ldquogiraffe stills&rdquo), Glenmorangie has perfected the art of creating gentle, elegant whiskies, then juggling an array of cask styles to create myriad expressions. The Original is a 10-year-old expression that&rsquos mild and mellow, bright with orange peel and ginger on the nose, and soft on the palate with honey and peach. The Lasanta incorporates the influence of sherry casks, giving the whisky round fragrances of plums, berries, and dates, with toasted spice and marmalade on the palate. Port pipes enter the equation for Quinta Ruban, resulting in a malt that&rsquos round and rich, with cherries, chocolate, and tangerines on the nose, and a palate filled with berry jam, nutmeg, and baking spice. Nectar d&rsquoOr takes things in a different direction by introducing the influence of Sauternes casks, producing a whisky that&rsquos luscious and bright, with aromas of green grapes, vanilla, and fruit tarts, and the dessert-table roundness of almond paste, pastry cream, and ginger on the palate.
Old Pulteney The Pulteney Distillery is one of the northernmost in Scotland, and its whiskies evince the crisp, austere character of its maritime environs. The 12 Year Old has a bright brininess touched with dried grass, and a clean, mild flavor of dried oats and honey. The 15 Year Old is more intense, with apples, hay, and butter on the nose, and a richer flavor of spice cake and salted chocolate. The 25 Year Old is richer still, redolent with candied citrus peel and nougat, and with a lean, lush flavor of nut brittle, dark chocolate, and vanilla cream. For The Huddart, peat smoke enters the picture, giving the whisky aromatic touches of fresh sugarcane, green apples, leather, and wood smoke, and a flavor round with satsumas, lemon drops, toasted spice, and caramel.
Speyburn Speyburn has a history dating to 1897, and this Speyside distillery&rsquos single malts are bold and engaging. The 10 Year Old is precocious and exuberant, with an aroma like that of a bowl of butterscotch hard candies with a fruity Jolly Rancher or two hidden away in the mix on the palate, the flavor is full of candy and custard, mildly rich and bouncy. The 15 Year Old enters an interesting adolescence, with fruit jam, shortbread, and pastry cream emerging in the glass. In the 18 Year Old, the fruit character fully emerges as baskets of peaches and pears, with toasted cake and a drizzle of boiled honey lingering in the finish.
5 Scotch Whiskies So Exclusive You Have to Fly to Buy Them
We live in a glorious time for Scotch whisky: most distilleries release single malt editions of their products (in the past they were often invisible to the public and “hidden” in blends) and many more like to experiment with age statements, barrel finishes, and special non-age-statement (NAS) blends, meaning your favorite brand might offer a half-dozen or more expressions from which to taste. However, a handful of those expressions often are set aside to be sold only at the distillery or through duty-free shops at airports (officially called “global travel retail,” or GTR).
“Whether buying an exclusive at duty-free or at the distillery,” says Iain McCallum, brand ambassador for Bowmore and a former distiller/blender himself, “it should retain the heart of the brand, but offer up something interesting. Whisky expressions are like siblings: They have their own personality and character, but the DNA should be instantly translatable to the distillery of origin.”
So get your passport up to date and check out these GTR and distillery-only releases.
Balblair Cask 714 of 2006
Instead of age statements (10-year, 12-year, etc), Highland distillery Balblair specializes in vintages. Whiskies are dated “1999” or “2005.” At the distillery in Edderton, you can currently bottle your own 750 ml share of Cask 714, straight from the cask, at 59 percent ABV. The cool thing with hand-filling the 2006 at the source? You get to fill in a ledger approved by both the Scottish government and the Queen, to make things all official-like. Travel bonus: The Balblair 1999 (bottled in 2014) is available exclusively through duty-free.
Craigellachie 19 Year
This is part of the “Last Great Malts” series of single malts from John Dewar and Sons, a group of distilleries that had never released its whiskies as single malts before. A proudly old-school style of Speyside whisky, you’ll find full-bodied character, oak, and even sulfur and meaty notes. That’s a good thing, in this case. Got even more dollars to drop? The 31-year Craigellachie is also exclusive to duty-free shops.
Glenfiddich 19-Year Age of Discovery
Once available in the U.S., it’s now only found in duty-free shops. Aged 19 years in American ex-bourbon casks, you’ll fine classic bourbon overtones of vanilla, tobacco, baking spice, and smoky oak notes. Like other expressions of the Dufftown-based Glenfiddich, expect the Age of Discovery to trend more sweet than smoky, more smooth than brash.
Bowmore Warehouseman’s Selection
The last in Bowmore’s distillery-only Craftsman series, Warehouseman’s Selection was distilled in 1999 and aged 17 years in a mix of bourbon, sherry, and wine casks. Three-thousand bottles of the smokey Islay single malt were made. When they’re gone, there will be a new distillery-exclusive series with a new flavor theme.
“With distillery exclusives and the annual Feis Isle festival bottlings, you’re looking for quirky personality,” says brand ambassador Iain McCallum. “You want something that reflects the experience of being in distillery, the smells of the distillery. You’re tasting the warehouse. But of course, it’s also instantly recognizable as the product of the mother distillery.
Fans take note: Last year, after a few years off the market, the brand re-released its age statement whiskies (10-, 15-, and 18-year) as duty-free exclusives.
The Dalmore Fortuna Meritas Collection
Not one, but four unique bottles of this posh Highland single malt landed on travel retail shelves two years ago. Billed as a tribute to The Dalmore’s heritage (the 1839 brand was inspired by a legend about the rescue of King Alexander III), master blender Richard “The Nose” Paterson has selected unique cask combinations for each expression: Valour, Regalis, Luceo, and Dominium. The Dominium, for example, employs specially selected casks from sherry producer Gonzales Byass that first aged oloroso sherry for at least 30 years (. ). The result is rich raisin, carame, and sandalwood notes and a highly aromatic bouquet.
Dewar’s 30-Year Ne Plus Ultra
These days, there are three reasons to hit the duty-free: to get your favorite brand at a discount, to try an exclusive expression at or around what you’re used to paying, or to go balls out and pick up something crazy rare and expensive. That would be this. Available only in Canada, this smooth, incredibly lush variation of the classic blended whiskey will set you back around $650.
Glenfarclas 15 Years
A nearly 200-year-old distillery in the Highlands of Scotland, Glenfarclas puts out a wide range of Scotches aged between 10 and 40 years. The 15-year is bottled is said to be the perfect for single malt enthusiasts by those at the distillery. Glenfarclas mentions sherried notes throughout the drink, with a long-lasting finish.
Glengoyne Teapot Dram
A distillery-only bottle offered at the Highland distillery, workers at Glengoyne used to receive three drams a day from a copper tea pot — a solution to more than the angel’s share gone missing. Now, the same Scotch is bottled and sold and offers up a sweet mix of brown sugar, fruits, and spices. The distillery points out flavors such as pineapple, cherry liqueur, dark chocolate, and black pepper. It’s a young whisky, but one worth visiting the site for.
The smallest distillery in Scotland was long a provider of the drinks for the House of Lords, but its small and elite status doesn’t stop it from making a lot of products. While the 10-year Edradour expression is often available at better whisky bars in the U.S., the distillery produces an array of Classic, Cask Strength, Wine Finished, Wine Matured, and Heavily Peated whiskies. Edradour is worth the stop — and tastes.
Originally published by Andrew Couts on July 7, 2016. Last updated February 28, 2018 by Robert Haynes-Peterson.
Town Branch Kentucky Single Malt Whiskey Cask Strength Aged 11 years Review
Town Branch Distillery tells BourbonBlog.com they are releasing a limited edition Town Branch Kentucky Single Malt Whiskey Cask Strength 11-year-old. Bottled at 110.3 proof. They are only releasing 3300 bottles of this at $79.99.
Town Branch tells us the whiskey is shipping to distributors this week.
This Cask Strength 11-year-old is one of a kind expression in the American single malt category and we recommend it.
We will have a Bourbon Blog Live tasting and interview tonight (Wed. Nov 4th) at 8 pm ET on BourgbonBlog.com/live with Master Distiller Mark Coffman and Marketing Manager Pete Weiss. Watch here or on this video link at the bottom of this page.
This cask strength whiskey is made from 100% malted barley and aged 11 years exclusively in ex-Oloroso sherry casks that aged had most recently aged red wine in Kentucky. Keep in mind by “recently,” we mean 11 years ago.
Some whiskeys are aged to full maturity from 2-5 years, just an example, in a primary aging barrel. Then that whiskey is transferred to an ex-wine barrel for the “finish” which is usually several months to a year.
However, in the case of this Town Branch whiskey, the full 11 years were actually spent entirely aging in this ex-wine barrel.
Town Branch Kentucky Single Malt Whiskey Cask 11-Year-Old Review
Evidenced by the whiskey’s crimson color, the red wine and elements trapped from the Oloroso sherry have created a trio of flavors pulling from the differents casks and the older age itself. It is heavy on the chocolate, fruit, and elegant malt throughout.
The depth of flavor is intense yet balanced with notes of chocolate-covered raspberries and a dusting of cocoa powder.
This indeed may be one of the oldest American single malts released that we are aware of, especially with this type of wine barrel aging.
On the finish, there a real juicy note balanced with a deep barrel that keeps emerging.
The original Town Branch Kentucky Single Malt Whiskey delivers a wealth of flavor at 7 years of age, so check it out as well.