One of the most unique Rye Whiskies we’ve tasted this year, this 100% malted Rye Spirit is aged in four cask types for an exotic flavor profile.
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.
Normally, the more rye grain in the mash, the most peppery and spicy a Whiskey becomes. But there’s an exception. If you bend the ratio to malted rye, you get most of the spice, but it is balanced with the inherent sweetness and aromatics of the malted grains. Low Gap Rye is made from 100% rye — so it’s got the spice. But 100% of that rye is malted — so you have the aromatics and sweetness too. And just like its siblings, it’s double-distilled in a Charentais still, just like Cognac. The resulting Spirit is aged for two years in a crazy combination of casks, including 65% new oak. But the rest is aged in ex-Bourbon, ex-Port, and ex-Cognac barrels. Finally, this crazy-complex Rye Whiskey is bottled at 43.6% ABV and you HAVE to taste it for yourself.
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.