Workhorse Rye - 'Standard & Strange' Malt Whisky (750ML)

$140.00 

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Workhorse Rye - 'Standard & Strange' Malt Whisky (750ML) - The Epicurean Trader
Workhorse Rye - 'Standard & Strange' Malt Whisky (750ML) - The Epicurean Trader
If you were to describe the Standard & Strange aesthetic, it would be Americana-by-way-of-Japan, and that’s exactly where this whiskey lands. The concept behind this particular whisky is the “split-base” cocktail, built with both Japanese and American Rye whiskeys. It blends the spice and menthol punch notorious in American Rye Whiskey with the finesse and nuance so loved in the best Japanese and Scottish malts.

The story of this whiskey starts long before the barrel, with the farm and the farmer. The bottle in your hands contains around $4 of grain in it; heritage grain that has been regeneratively grown with fair labor practices. (Compare that to the approximately 8 cents of industrial grain, or 12 cents worth of big, corporate organic grain found in other premium whiskeys.) These grains have not been optimized for yield or sugar production, meaning they pack a lot more punch in the flavor department than conventional or big organic grains.

What this means for the whiskey: you are going to taste much more grain than the barrel, an experience more like a wine than a spirit.

We suggest that you start with a sip of this neat to experience the flavors. You will want to cut this as it is cask strength (120 proof). I personally dilute to about 40 proof with distilled water and serve over one big cube, but it also plays nicely as a highball. For cocktails, I try to avoid making anything too overbearing or sugary.


THE CONCEPT
Inspired by Japanese distilling (ruthless, only the most gorgeous sections of the hearts are used), Japanese blending (folding in rye into malt), and Japanese aging (Mizunara complimenting the flavors of the heirloom grains with hints of perfume, myrrh, resin, bright herbs)

MASHBILL/GRAIN SOURCING
Proprietary blend of all regeneratively grown grains sourced directly (compost instead of nitrogen fertilizer, no petroleum, no sprays, no-till, cover crops to fix nitrogen and continue carbon hold)
•    50% Admiral malt (Gallagher’s Best & Maiden Voyage)
•    25% Grass Valley (Reed Hamilton)
•    25% Purple Barley (Grain R&D, Queen Creek AZ)
Admiral Maltings - Heirloom Barley - grown in Yolo County, floor-malted in Alameda County
Grain R&D - Purple Tibetan Barley - grown in the south of PHX, AZ by a collective of progressive farmers
Grass Valley Grains - Gazelle Rye - grown by CA regenerative-agriculture hero Reed Hamilton

DISTILLATION
My style is “high and tight” meaning, the biggest fruit flavors come at the high part of the hearts, right after the heads cut, and the tail cut is therefore quite tight so as to let the focus be on the most expressive portion. “Heads, hearts, tails” are actually quite relative in this industry, I only keep what is gorgeous and what shows the freshest and unique portion amidst the heart.

AGING
80% Mizunara Japanese oak, 20% Used Kelvin Cooperage Bourbon Barrel

BOTTLING
Cask Strength
120 Proof
Bottle produced in Japan

ART/LABEL
Designed by Oakland artist Carrie Cizauskas
letter-pressed on recycled fiber paper by Oakland Print Co
Workhorse Rye - 'Standard & Strange' Malt Whisky (750ML) - The Epicurean Trader
Workhorse Rye - 'Standard & Strange' Malt Whisky (750ML) - The Epicurean Trader

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