Wheat Whiskey- Ward off the chill with us this fall
Written by Bret Kimbrough, Manager, Distilling and Operations
As we head into Autumn, temperature will (thankfully) begin to drop, the leaves will turn beautiful colors and our thoughts will turn to the lush, warming flavors that will stave off an evening chill. To aid you in your core heating efforts, we will be bringing you a 3 year old wheat whiskey finished in a very special cask!
And what is that cask, your query excitedly? Well, my friends, I will tell you. But first, I want to enlighten you about one of our most important endeavors here at Tenth Ward.
Barrel Aging? What’s the Deal?
Part of our work here in the distillery is putting things into barrels to age. Barrel aging does a lot of great things to whiskey besides the obvious effect of turning it brown. Our barrels are made of American white oak, a wood prized all over the world for its flavor and aroma giving properties, that is then charred on the inside. The charred surface acts as a sort of charcoal filter to remove things from immature whiskey that can make it taste harsh and unrefined. The wood underneath the char, called the red layer by many distillers, is toasted and imparts to the spirit many of a great whiskey’s classic flavors and aromas like vanilla, caramel, coconut, and sweet spices. Without barrel aging, whiskey would be bland, one dimensional and not very exciting. That is, unless you give it a good dose of smoke like we do!.
We use a variety of different barrels at Tenth Ward to impart a wide range of different characters to our products, making each one exceptional in its own way. Our barrel aging standards are just one of the many ways we Ward Off Ordinary.
The Tenth Ward barrel aging program is focused primarily on our smoked bourbon and our soon to be released Maryland Rye. These spirits are lovingly tucked away in new barrels, as is required by law, until they are deemed ready to drink by the distillery staff. However, we do keep some curveballs in the barrel area that we release from time to time as a special surprise for our club members. Barrels previously used for aging other delicious goodies can still be given another chance at bringing unique character to other spirits beside bourbon and rye, like the barrel aged Genever you enjoyed in our last club release. And these used barrels can be used to age wonderful things that aren’t spirits, too.
One such surprise is a 95% wheat/5% barley whiskey finished in maple syrup barrels! These barrels originally aged bourbon, but were then sent to a sugar shack to age freshly made maple syrup for a number of months. We then obtained the barrels so we could make something extraordinary for our beloved club members.
The maple syrup aging endows the wood with a complex sweetness that really marries beautifully with aged whiskey and gives it a full, luscious body. The wheat whiskey itself is light bodied, subtle and elegant, which provides a smooth canvas on which the maple can paint itself. When taken together this maple infused goodness recalls freshly baked bread, spiced cider, vanilla beans, and apple pie.
Long story short, if you want something you can sip by the fire pit on a cool, Fall evening, it doesn’t get any better than this. Whether you want to sip it on its own, make a nice maple old fashioned or manhattan, or add some to your favorite cup of tea, this whiskey will make sweater weather cozier and comfier than ever.
Description: 95% wheat 5% barley whiskey, finished in maple syrup barrels.
Tasting Notes: Freshly baked bread, spiced cider, vanilla beans, and apple pie.
How to Mix It
Wheat Whiskey Sour
1 egg white (aquafaba for a vegan substitute)
1.5 oz wheat whiskey
1 oz lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup
Garnish: edible flower or cherry
Dry shake egg white, add remaining ingredients, and shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass. Top with ice (optional)
Wheat in Manhattan
2 oz wheat whiskey
.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
3 dashes bitters
Garnish: cherry and orange peel
Add all ingredients into a shaker, shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish
Wheated Old Fashioned
1.5 oz wheat whiskey
1 sugar cube
2 dashes bitters
2 dashes water
Garnish: orange peel
In a mixing glass, muddle sugar cube with water and bitters. Add whiskey and ice and stir. Strain into a rocks glass and top with ice. Garnish.
How do I get my hands on it???
You can sign up today for free. Bottle Club members get all the perks at Tenth Ward, including having access to exclusive cocktail menu items, four amazing Bottle Club-only releases per year, special invites to Bottle Club-only events, and more. We also now offer shipping throughout Maryland and DC! Just check out our blog about the Perks of Being a Bottle Club Member here.