Magical Mash, A Toast, and Now…the Finish
Made from the same mash recipe as Batch No. 1, Batch No. 2 rolled out a completely distinctive flavor profile. It hit the shelves at the end of September, and, wow, has the response been exciting! Check out St Jack bar manager Charlie Dorst’s reaction when he first tasted Batch No. 2:
Batch No. 2’s story reveals history, hard work…and patience.
You could say it all began decades ago in a little fishing town in Newfoundland – Portugal Cove, near St Johns. This is where our Founder, Phil, grew up.
A land filled with fishing stories (including one where Phil’s very own great uncle was lost at sea), Portugal Cove is a small coastal village driven by hardy, Irish/English heritage, where Phil’s family and community shared stories while sipping rum to warm up dark, stormy nights.
(See a cocktail connection here?!)
Rum was pervasive. Hard work was expected.
These traditions carried through to Phil’s vision for Batch No. 2. Phil used the same grain bill (Washington pale, chocolate, munich and crystal malts) and again partnered with Westland Distillery to mash and distill it. This is where this whiskey’s path diverged. Literally.
For Batch No. 2, Phil aged the whiskey for a total of four years (an additional year of aging). First in new American oak. To finish it, Phil split the Batch into two lots and filled half of his American single malt into Heaven Hill ex-bourbon barrels and half into Nicaraguan ex-rum barrels.
Similar to Newfoundland, rum dominates Nicaragua’s history and palate. Phil believed the flavor from ex-rum barrels would complement the whiskey’s taste profile, bringing vanilla, banana, tropical fruit to the batch’s spice and malt flavors. The ex-bourbon lot was intended to mellow the smoke coming from the chocolate malt that distinguishes Batch No. 1. After an additional six months in these barrels, the two lots were blended at bottling time. See the bottling party in action here.
Barrel Renewal: A Labor of Love
The venerable lot of ex-rum barrels Phil found reflected Nicaragua’s storied history. In other words…they needed some love. True to his hardworking heritage, this was a perfect project for Phil. Believing the rum’s tropical flavors would go well with the whiskey, he devoted painstaking hours to bring the barrels back to life for the finishing process.
Each barrel had to be resurrected to be leak-free. Using filtered Hood River water from the Farm, Phil soaked the tops in a bath for a few hours, followed by filling them on the inside with warm water to rehydrate the staves and seal the joints. Finally, he replaced and tightened every metal hoop until it was as close to perfect as he could get.
Batch No. 2’s Finish
Batch No. 2 produced a distinctly different, yet equally delicious taste that appeals to whiskey enthusiasts seeking a sweeter, savory and less smoky mouth. It’s 100 proof and very, very smooth.
Phil’s formal tasting notes for the batch:
“A rich and decadent single malt with notes of fruitcake, gingerbread, Mexican chocolate, sugar cone and orange marmalade.”
Like Batch No. 1, this is a limited release. Only 2,500 bottles! Here’s how to get your hands on some!
If you live in one of the states below, you’re in luck! You can buy online and ship at a fat rate of $12.
Live in Oregon? You get to buy it the old fashioned way–in a store.
ONLINE SHIPPING STATES: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington DC, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.