A wonderfully unique "high malt" Bourbon made like a Cognac with a fruit and floral character.
Crispin Cain has been working in Wine and Spirits in Northern California since 1983, including serving as assistant distiller to Brandy-master Hebert Germain-Robin. He founded Greenway Distillers in 2005 and Tamar Distillery/Mendocino Spirits in 2008. From their small craft shop in Redwood Valley they produce several bands of premium Spirits, including Low Gap Whiskey, Russell Henry Gins, Fluid Dynamics Cocktails, and DSP 162 Vodkas along with Absinth and Liqueurs.
The current batch of Low Gap Bourbon is made using a mash bill of 55% corn, 30% malted barley, and 15% malted rye. Further, it’s double-distilled in a Charentais Still — just like many fine Cognacs. If you are Whiskey nerds like us, that gets your attention. It’s very rare to have such a high ration of malted barley in a Bourbon, and rarer still to have two malted grains in the same mash. Theoretically, that combination of mash and still should develop a floral and fruity flavor profile, and that’s exactly what it does. The Spirit is aged for a minimum of three years in new oak and bottled at a pleasant 42.2% ABV.
The "Charentais Method" or "Charentais Still" looks like a normal Alembic still used to make fine Cognac — and largely it is. But the Charentais still gains efficiency by using the cooling Spirits coming off the boiler to preheat the next batch before proceeding to the worm condenser.