Starting from scratch is the only way to make genuine small batch rye. Our mission is to distill and deliver classic Pennsylvania Rye spirits following over 200 years of American distilling tradition.
Our mission from the outset was to ultimately produce a great, flavorful whiskey while ensuring genuine Pennsylvania Rye would live on in its purest form. Cultivating relationships with local farms to source the rye locally is vital to that goal. We work with local partners to develop sustainable relationships – tapping into Pennsylvania’s agricultural richness to obtain the highest quality grain for our use while offering fair pricing to farmers and suppliers in our region.
With the notion of “doing things the right way” in mind, the prosperity of Pennsylvania is also primary to our process – right down to our glass bottles with their distinctive labels, all produced by strategic partners in Pennsylvania. From the very first batch, we’ve recycled the spent mash which goes back to the farmers to add to feed for their livestock. Even the rustic bar in our tasting room is made from reclaimed wood leftover from our still’s shipping crate.
Our recipe was formulated working with the Artisan Distilling Program at Michigan State University over a two year period and is modeled after traditional Pennsylvania rye whiskey. Using high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients, a grain bill of 80% rye, 15% barley malt and 5% rye malt yields a flavorful mash that undergoes a weeklong, controlled fermentation to develop complex flavor. At the end of this week, the mash is ready for the first of two distillations.
Genuine rye whiskey must be made from at least 51% rye grain and is aged in new American oak barrels, charred on the inside. The charring contributes to the whiskey’s flavor and creates its amber color. Rye whiskey is spicy with a dry finish – not as sweet as bourbon and without the smoky finish found with most scotch whiskies.
Using a traditional 500-gallon pot still with a more modern side column we can tailor our distillation process to craft a flavorful rye spirit which is transferred into charred quarter casks for aging for a minimum of 6 months. Our still allows us to modify the process to produce an even more complex spirit – now being laid down in 53 gallon barrels – that becomes our Straight Rye whiskey down the road. As our whiskey matures, we taste each barrel and blend them together for a balance of complexity and smoothness.
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