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For Batch No. 3, we switched to slow dilution. This means that instead of diluting the cask proof whiskey just prior to blending, we diluted it down in the barrel 1-2 proof a month. It was fully diluted, from 120 proof to bottle proof, right on time for bottling with quite an impact on the final taste.

Diluting, also known as proofing, is an important step in distillation. Our whiskey is proofed twice; first at our partner distillery when our new make spirit comes off the still, and then again at the Farm before we bottle a Batch.

By law, American whiskey can be distilled to 160 proof, but must enter the barrel at or below 125 proof. This first proofing ensures that it is below the legal threshold for cask proof strength.

When our whiskey is nearing maturity, we make the decision on the final proof of the Batch. For distillers, there are always two important factors that come into play; the water source and the proofing strategy.

Our water at the Farm comes from Mount Hood, it is pristine and requires no filtering or rebalancing. There are two strategy options for the second proofing:

  1. Add water all at once in the blending tank
  2. Add water very gradually (what we call slow dilution), giving the spirit time to rest between additions.

Although not scientifically proven, it is widely believed that to prevent saponification, where the water brings out fats or oils from suspension in the distillate, which can give the whiskey a soapy taste.

Another reason to go slow – added water creates or destroys new esters. By adding water gradually, some distillers think a more integrated, harmonious flavor can be achieved.

More Reading on How We Make Our Whiskey…

Want to dig a little deeper into how we made our Evergreen collection of limited edition American single malt whiskeys (Batch No. 1,2, 3+ 4)? Check out these articles on each phase of our unique approach:

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(503) 305 9261