An aromatic, nearly Cask Strength Bourbon with four grains and no compromises.
Jeff Walsh is living his dream. After a first career as a trader in Chicago’s investment markets, he decided to take up distilling. He says that he was "driven crazy" by oblique deceptions in the Whiskey markets — with fake historical ties and 100% "sourced" Spirits. So he started with a sixty gallon pot still in 2013 and experimented with product development in Wheeling, Illinois. Things have gone well. He now has a full production environment producing two thousand liters at a crack and a product line covering five tasty Whiskies and two Gins. Life is good, but he still distills every drop himself.
Their flagship product is Oppidan Bourbon Small Batch Four Grain — and it’s quite an accomplishment. It’s also a wonderful lesson in Whiskey transparency because there’s a lot of detail available. For example, if you dig you can find the individual barrel numbers, learn that they get their barrels from Kelvin Cooperage, and discover that they use Champaign yeast for fermentation. The mash bill is solid — 68% corn, 14% wheat, 9% rye, and 9% malted barley. The Spirit comes out of the still at a 73% ABV and is aged in new casks with a #3 char for two years and bottled at 50% ABV. And when you are Whiskey nerds like us, you love that kind of detail and know it means tasty stuff indeed.
Oppidan is an old-school word that refers to a student from an old school. It implies a very local element indicative of a town or small community as opposed to a county or country.