Ransom Spirits was started by Tad Seestedt in 1997 with some life savings and a bunch of credit cards. The name was chosen to represent the racked up debt needed to start the business – Tad was paying his own ransom to realize his dream. At first, the distillery focused on making small batch Grappa, Brandy and Wine. They’ve only added Spirits to their portfolio in 2007.
The distillery moved a couple of times at the beginning, but settled in Sheridan, Oregon in 2008. The forty acer Ransom farm is located in the Willamette Valley in the foothills of the Coastal Mountain Range and is certified organic. They distill their spirits in hand-hammered, direct-fired French alembic pot still, relying on their artisan production process, traditional craftsmanship and local ingredients.
Ransom spirits is not your typical distillery and their Henry DuYore’s Straight Bourbon is not your typical Bourbon. Named after an infamous moonshiner, it is produced from 56% corn, 31% rye and 13% barley and aged for a minimum of 4 years in new American oak, before it’s finished in French oak casks and bottled at 45.65% ABV. The lion’s share of Bourbon is made in Kentucky, but here in Oregon, they go about it a bit differently.
Although it fits within the confines of the Bourbon category, the high rye content gives this Whiskey a special spicy kick, while the extra French oak finishing process adds an additional layer of complexity to a unique flavor profile, outside of the mold of your everyday Bluegrass Bourbon. This is a superb Spirit, but also your opportunity to rye, ahem, try something different. When it comes to combos of artistry, integrity and personality, it doesn’t get much better than this. At this price point, you should definitely pay the ransom right away.