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Local partnership brings popular modern-classic cocktail to new, convenient heights.

Long Road Distillers and Madcap Coffee Company, both headquartered in Grand Rapids, have again collaborated to develop a product that marries what they do best – spirits and coffee. The Long Road Nitro Espresso Martini, a ready-to-drink canned cocktail, is now popping up on retail store shelves and in bar coolers around the state of Michigan. The new release features Long Road Vodka, Madcap Coffee, and Amaro Pazzo.

Long Road Distillers and Madcap Coffee previously partnered to create Amaro Pazzo, a traditional Italian-style bittersweet liqueur that features Madcap’s Eureka coffee blend as a primary ingredient. It is available in bottled form throughout Michigan, including at Long Road tasting rooms in Grand Rapids and Grand Haven.

The owners of Long Road consider the Nitro Espresso Martini to be another step in the evolution of a modern-classic cocktail that dates back to the 1980’s and is experiencing a renaissance in popularity. Famed British bartender Dick Bradsell is credited with creating the first iteration of the vodka-espresso combo when he was asked by a patron to make them a cocktail to “wake me up and [get me buzzed].” The combination of vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur and sugar has been riffed on behind bars ever since.

“Who doesn’t love a well-made espresso martini as a pick-me-up while out on the town?” asked Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers “But it takes a lot of effort to enjoy one when away from the bar, without an espresso machine and all the ingredients on hand,” he continued. “We’ve done all the legwork for you – creating a perfectly balanced drink, adding a dose of nitrogen for an iconic frothy head and creamy finish, all in the convenience of a can.”

The Long Road Nitro Espresso Martini is an extension of a cocktail named At Last the distillery has been running on their menus since opening Less Traveled, a cocktail bar in the East Hills Neighborhood of Grand Rapids. It was an immediate hit and continues to be one of the best-selling cocktails on the menu at all locations month after month.

To make the ready-to-drink version of the cocktail as authentic as possible, it is canned at 13% alcohol by volume, nearly the maximum for a canned cocktail in Michigan. With the introduction of caffeine and higher alcohol content, the distillery decided to package the drink in 6.8oz cans rather than the traditional 12oz format.

The Long Road Nitro Espresso Martini, as well as Long Road’s entire portfolio of ready-to-drink cocktails and bottled spirits, is being distributed throughout Michigan by Imperial Beverage. Bars, restaurants, and retailers interested in carrying Long Road products should contact their Imperial Beverage account manager for more information. Want to find a 4-pack near you? Visit longroaddistillers.com/spirit-finder for a regularly updated list of outlets for Long Road spirits.

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About Long Road Distillers:

Long Road Distillers was born from the belief that making world-class spirits means never taking shortcuts along the way. After becoming the first craft distillery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Long Road Distillers formed relationships with local farmers to bring that mission to Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood. Each spirit produced at Long Road Distillers is milled from locally sourced ingredients, fermented, and distilled on-site. The result is an uncompromised lineup of spirits including Vodka, Gin, Whisky and more. Their spirits, along with a handcrafted collection of cocktails and a wide variety of food can be enjoyed at their Grand Rapids and Grand Haven Tasting Rooms, and visitors can now enjoy signature craft cocktails at Less Traveled, a cocktail bar by Long Road in East Hills. For more information, visit www.LongRoadDistillers.com or find Long Road Distillers on Facebook or Instagram @longroadgr.

About Madcap Coffee:

Founded in 2008, Madcap Coffee Company is headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI. They operate their own roastery, as well as several cafes in Michigan. Their founder, Trevor Corlett, is an award-winning, nationally recognized barista and trainer. They have been spotlighted by national media and in competition for their coffees, roasting profiles, and innovative drink recipes. For more information, visit www.madcapcoffee.com or direct inquiries to info@madcapcoffee.com.

Click the links to jump to: Grand Rapids Pop-up Menu; Grand Haven Pop-up Menu; Less Traveled Holiday Features.

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Long Road Distillers, known for their internationally awarded distilled spirits and trendsetting cocktail program, will launch their third annual Happy Holidays Cocktail Pop-Up Menu on Tuesday, November 28. From now through New Year’s, visitors to a Long Road location can expect festive flavors, glistening décor and lots of sugar and spice.

“We’ve had so much fun turning this pop-up menu into a tradition that guests and staff alike get excited for every year”, said Owner Jon O’Connor, “We put together a fun and lighthearted menu that our staff have challenged themselves to create, ensuring they will delight and stun the crowd.”

This year’s festive and whimsical menu features 15 spirited holiday drinks, including several favorites from last year, and three seasonal shots, all to help get you into the holiday spirit. The pop-up menu will be available at the distillery’s West Grand Rapids location as well as their Grand Haven bar and restaurant. A handful of featured drinks will also be available at Less Traveled, the distillery’s Cherry Street cocktail bar. A few examples of cocktails visitors can expect to enjoy:

  • St. Nick’s Vacation ~ Original Rum, Red Amaro, falernum, spiced pineapple cordial, lime and aromatic bitters
  • Snow Machine ~ Nocino, Madcap Coffee cold brew, demerara, almond milk and grated nutmeg
  • The Final Snowdown ~ Grape Avani Vodka, bianco vermouth, lime, white cranberry and orange bitters (serves 4)
  • Figgy Stardust ~ Fig-aged Rum, Pear Brandy, Nocino, lemon, orange, grapefruit, spiced honey butter and a shimmering glitter

“You really can’t beat gathering the people you love and sharing a well-crafted cocktail,” said Jenney Grant, Long Road’s Director of Operations & Education. “We have curated both a menu and a space that will help you get into the spirit of the season.”

Long Road’s Happy Holidays Cocktail Pop-Up will be available beginning Tuesday, November 28 at Long Road Grand Rapids, Grand Haven and Less Traveled. It will run through January 6 at all locations.

A Note from Long Road: Recently, we launched a Guest Blog series, “Behind the Bar with Long Road”, to take you on a journey behind the bar with our talented team and to give you a glimpse into the creative process behind innovative and enticing cocktails that feature our spirits. Be sure to check out our earlier posts by Jenney Grant, Joey Robles-Zepeda, Carley from Cocktails with Carley, Connor Everhart and Rob Hanks of Nightwatch Lounge. This week’s post comes to us from another talented Long Road bartender, Hayley Bogner. You can find Hayley mixing it up behind the bar at the distillery on Leonard Street and at Less Traveled on the East side of town. 

Behind the Bar with Long Road: A Brother’s Favorite Order Inspires Hayley
by Hayley Bogner, Bartender, Long Road Distillers & Less Traveled 

Oooh, sweet summertime. Out of all the places I’ve been, nothing compares to warm, sunny days in West Michigan. Fresh Lake Michigan water, bare feet in the sand, burgers on the grill, backyard bonfires, the lake breeze blowing through your hair, friends with boats-you just can’t beat it.

The warmer weather has me reminiscing on all the summer memories I’ve made throughout my life here in the mitten. 

One of my all time favorite childhood memories would have to be trips to the local ice cream shop with my siblings. The excitement that lit up our eyes and our sun-kissed, rosy cheeks was always enough to make my mom give in and load us up into the car-even if it would be the third ice cream run of the week.

We would all carefully examine the menu posted up next to the ordering window, changing our minds a thousand times before finally making a decision.

My little brother, on the other hand, always knew exactly what he wanted well before we arrived-a chocolate banana malt. Time after time, his order never changed. Soon enough, his order, tried-and-true, became my frequent order, too. 

Fast forward to our adult years, this milkshake is still my brother’s go-to ice cream order, and a core memory of warm summer days with loved ones. When I think of summertime in Western Michigan, a banana malt is one of the very first things to cross my mind.

So obviously, with my ever growing passion for contemporary cocktail creation, I needed to reimagine and recreate this summer treat. Maintaining that nostalgic, bold, rich banana flavor profile-without the sugar and dairy overload-is just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you longing for another.

After lots of contemplation, trial and error, and a slight obsession to create the perfect representation of my brother’s favorite indulgence, my vision became reality. That’s when “Oh Brother” was born.

Oh Brother Recipe

  • 2oz Roasted Banana Bourbon
  • .75oz Banana Almond Milk
  • .5oz Malted Barley Syrup
  • 2 dashes Vanilla Cacao Nib Tincture

Build all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and double strain into a rocks glass over a single large ice cube (or a king cube as the LR fam calls it).

For the garnish, sprinkle sugar atop a frozen skewered banana slice and torch the sugar until it’s golden brown and brûléed to perfection.

Close your eyes, take a sip, and imagine a summer filled with all the chocolate banana malts you could possibly dream of.

Cheers!

A Note from Long Road: Recently, we launched a Guest Blog series, “Behind the Bar with Long Road”, to take you on a journey behind the bar with our talented team and to give you a glimpse into the creative process behind innovative and enticing cocktails that feature our spirits. Be sure to check out our earlier posts by Jenney Grant, Joey Robles-Zepeda, Carley from Cocktails with Carley, and Connor Everhart. This week’s post comes to us from Rob Hanks. No stranger to the cocktail scene in West Michigan, Rob has been a leader in the industry for many years, including an active stint with the Grand Rapids chapter of the US Bartender’s Guild. Follow along with Rob’s work on Instagram @rhanks23

Behind the Bar with Long Road: Rob Hanks Shares His Love of Bitter with the Autostrada Highball
by Rob Hanks, Proprietor, Nightwatch Lounge

Long Road Distillers opened in 2015 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has been embracing long held drinking cultures from around the world since then. My favorite is in their Amaro Pazzo.

Amaro is a category of Italian bittersweet liqueurs that range in flavor anywhere from bright and citrusy to dark, rich, and brooding, depending on the particular family recipe. Partnering with Long Road on this product is another widely celebrated Grand Rapids based beverage company, Madcap Coffee Roasters. By working together to create the list of botanicals that complement the specific roast of coffee selected, Amaro Pazzo was born with its rich and distinctive coffee-forward flavor, bolstered with rhubarb, citrus peel, and other proprietary herbs and spices.

Amaro can be difficult to use for people newer to the category, though its uses are broad. It can commonly be swapped in for sweet vermouth in cocktails such as a Manhattan or a Red Hook and brings a more bitter backbone to the cocktail while adding more depth and intensity. It can conversely be used in tropical cocktails effectively for cocktails similar to a Jungle Bird which combines pineapple, lime, dark rum, and Italian Aperitif such as Campari as a substitute for the aperitif, or even simply with Tonic water and a lemon wedge for a low ABV highball.

To enjoy this spirit for a long time try one of my favorites, the Autostrada Highball.

Autostrada Highball Recipe:

  • 1.5oz Long Road Distillers Amaro Pazzo
  • .5oz Long Road Distillers Vodka
  • .25oz Limoncello
  • High Quality Tonic water (I use Fever Tree)
  • Half pinch of salt

Combine Amaro Pazzo, limoncello, and half pinch of salt to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds and strain into a Highball glass on fresh ice. Top with Tonic water and garnish with a lemon wedge.

Cheers!

A Note from Long Road: Recently, we launched a Guest Blog series, “Behind the Bar with Long Road”, to take you on a journey behind the bar with our talented team and to give you a glimpse into the creative process behind innovative and enticing cocktails that feature our spirits. Be sure to check out our earlier posts by Jenney Grant, Joey Robles-Zepeda and Carley from Cocktails with Carley. This week’s post comes to us from Long Road Bartender Connor Everhart. You can find him behind the stick several nights a week at the distillery on Leonard Street. 

Gotta Light?: A Split-Base Pleaser from Connor
by Connor Everhart, Bartender, Long Road Distillers

I remember sitting next to my new coworkers with my cocktail notebook in hand, eager and excited to share my drink ideas. This was not just my first cocktail meeting while working at Long Road, but my first cocktail meeting ever! At thirty years of age, I moved to Grand Rapids only four months prior, and I had never been a bartender before in my life, only an at-home bartender and cocktail enthusiast. I left a five-year Personal Training career behind in order to pursue my passion for cocktails and hospitality. With no experience in the food and drink industry, Long Road decided to take a chance on me and see what I was capable of.

“So, I was thinking of combining our Apple Brandy, which I really love, and our Nocino together in a cocktail because I think it would be a perfect blend of flavors for the fall menu,” I said nervously to the seven other bartenders, all of whom possessed years of experience behind the bar and have no idea who I am.

“Oh yeah, I was thinking of possibly doing something like that too! That’s a great idea!” said one of my colleagues.

My nerves vanished as I was immediately encouraged and praised for my one (and only) idea I had prepared for the meeting. At that moment, I knew I needed to prove my idea was worth executing, so it was time to go to work!

After several attempts at trying different ratios, spirits, syrups, glassware, and listening to advice from coworkers, I created my very first cocktail that would be featured on the Long Road Fall menu of 2022!

I named the cocktail “Gotta Light?”, a reference to the notorious episode of the same name from my favorite TV show “Twin Peaks” (if you have seen the show, you know the episode).

The cocktail features a split base of Bourbon and Apple Brandy as the star of the show with Nocino and Cinnamon Brown Sugar simple syrup to round out the booziness. It’s then topped with a dehydrated apple slice and a cinnamon stick. Before the drink is given to a guest, the glass is smoked with apple wood chips and then covered to bring more complexity and depth to the flavors. Not only was it my first cocktail to ever be featured on a menu, it was one of the best-selling cocktails of the season! While still new to the world of cocktails and spirits, I’m filled with excitement to learn more and improve my skills as a bartender.

Gotta Light? Recipe

  • 1.5oz Apple Brandy
  • .5oz Bourbon
  • .5oz Nocino
  • .5oz Cinnamon Brown Sugar Simple Syrup

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir and single strain into a smoked (preferably apple wood chips) snifter glass topped with a dehydrated apple slice and cinnamon stick.

Cheers!

Grand Rapids distillery wins top honors for new ready to drink canned cocktail

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Long Road Distillers was awarded top honors for one of their recently released ready-to-drink canned cocktails at this years American Distilling Institute (ADI) International Spirits Competition. Long Road Lavender Lemonade was named “Best in Class”, “Best in Category” and awarded a Double Gold Medal, topping entries from around the world in the “Ready-to-Drink” class.

The lemonade was one of three new RTD canned cocktails that Long Road released into statewide distribution at the beginning of February. The canned beverages are being distributed by Imperial Beverage and are now available in over 600 retailers, bars, and restaurants throughout Michigan.

“It’s an incredible honor to earn this type of recognition for our RTD Lavender Lemonade,” said Kyle VanStrien, co-owner of Long Road Distillers. “Spirit-based ready-to-drinks is the fastest growing adult-beverage category in the country, and we’re proud to be leading the way with our Michigan-made products.”

Long Road Lavender Lemonade is based off a longtime tasting room favorite, Teta’s Lemonade, featuring Long Road Original Vodka, lavender, rosewater and lemon. It is nicely carbonated and canned at 7% alcohol, ready to be enjoyed right out of the can or over ice in a glass.

In addition to the top honors for Long Road Lavender Lemonade, the distillery was awarded Silver Medals for Amaro Pazzo, MICHIGIN, and their Polish Falcon RTD; and Bronze Medals for their Midwest Old Fashioned RTD, Original Aquavit, and Rosemary Fizz RTD.

Long Road’s line-up of spirits and ready-to-drink canned cocktails can be found at their three tasting rooms as well as at over 2,500 retailers and restaurants throughout Michigan.

Greetings, cocktail enthusiasts and Long Road Distillers fans! We are thrilled to announce the launch of a brand new guest blog series that will take you on a journey behind the bar with our talented team of bartenders. Each post in this series will offer a unique glimpse into the creative process behind the enticing and innovative cocktails you’ve come to know and love at our establishment.

Long Road Distillers has always been proud of our team of skilled bartenders who pour their heart and soul into crafting unforgettable cocktails for our guests. This blog series aims to showcase their expertise, passion, and the stories behind their original creations, allowing you to gain a deeper appreciation for the art of making craft cocktails.

In the coming weeks, you can look forward to learning about the inspiration and techniques that our bartenders utilize to create the perfect balance of flavors and aromas in their cocktails. From the historical roots of the drinks to the personal experiences that shaped their conceptions, these stories will offer a fascinating and intimate look at the world of bartending at Long Road Distillers. Moreover, our bartenders will share their knowledge of pairing cocktails with food items from our menu, providing you with valuable insights on how to elevate your dining experience with us.

Additionally, we’re excited to expand our blog series in the near future to include guest bartenders from various bars and restaurants across Michigan who have been crafting innovative cocktails with Long Road Distillers’ spirits, such as Sovereign Gin, Amaro Pazzo, and Long Road Aquavit. This will not only highlight the incredible talent found throughout our state but also inspire other bartenders and enthusiasts to explore the versatility and potential of our spirits.

Stay tuned for our first guest blog post, which will be published soon, and make sure to follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest posts in the series. We are confident that these personal stories and expert insights will enrich your understanding of our cocktail offerings and inspire you to try new combinations and flavors in your own home.

We look forward to sharing this journey with you as we celebrate the artistry, creativity, and dedication of our talented bartenders and their peers from across Michigan. Cheers to new discoveries and unforgettable cocktail experiences!

Long Road Distillers

On Monday, December 5, Long Road is partnering with a bunch of our friends (The Peoples Cider Co., Creston Brewery, Two Scott’s BBQ, The Grand Rapids Chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild, Local First of West Michigan, and SideCar Studios) to throw the first Annual Grand Rapids Repeal Day Party to celebrate the end of the 18th Amendment and the fall of Prohibition. As a bit of a pre-game to Monday’s party, we thought a bit of background might be useful in understanding the gravity of the Day! So, in honor of the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution, 21 fast facts about the rise and fall of Prohibition:

  1. The 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on January 16, 1919, effectively banning the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the U.S.
  2. The State of Michigan had already enacted their own prohibition on liquor 2 years earlier, on May 1, 1917
  3. The Eighteenth Amendment was the crowning achievement of the temperance movement, a social effort against the consumption of alcohol which began in the early 19th Century
  4. The temperance movement was strong in Grand Rapids and Michigan as a whole with the headquarters of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in Petoskey, Michigan and the establishment of a Grand Rapids Chapter.
  5. The National Prohibition Act was enacted to carry out the intent of the 18th Amendment.
  6. It was known informally as the Volstead Act, named after Andrew Volstead, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who help enact the legislation.
  7. The Volstead Act aimed to: prohibit intoxicating beverages; regulate the manufacture, sale, or transport of intoxicating liquor; and ensure an ample supply of alcohol and promote its use in scientific research.
  8. The Volstead Act did NOT specifically prohibit the use of intoxicating liquor.
  9. The Act defined “intoxicating liquor” as any beverage containing more than 0.5% alcohol by volume.
  10. Under Prohibition, crime rates skyrocketed as gangs took over the production, importation and distribution of alcohol
  11. One of the most infamous gangsters of the Prohibition era was Chicago’s Al Capone.
  12. Al Capone has West Michigan ties, having owned a hide-out cottage on Gun Lake and a favorite corner booth at Nick Fink’s, Grand Rapids’ oldest bars.
  13. Canada became the primary source for illicit alcohol in Michigan, and the Detroit-Windsor connection was the hub of bootlegging activities.
  14. There were an estimated 16,000 to 25,000 speakeasies operating in Detroit in 1928
  15. The Michigan State Police found 800 people inside on speakeasy in Detroit, the Deutches Haus, including Detroit Mayor John Smith, Congressman Robert Clancy and Sheriff Edward Stein.
  16. Congress proposed the 21st Amendment on February 20, 1933
  17. The 21st Amendment is the only Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that repeals a prior amendment.
  18. The 21st Amendment is the only Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that was ratified by state ratifying conventions, rather than being offered to the state legislatures for ratification.
  19. Michigan was the first of the 48 states to respond to the amendment and ratified it at a “state ratifying convention” on April 10, 1933.
  20. Ratification of the 21st Amendment was completed on December 5, 1933.
  21. Section 2 of the Amendment gives states absolute control over alcoholic beverages, with some states maintaining a prohibition on alcohol long after the 21st Amendment was ratified (Mississippi remained “dry” until 1966 and Kansas prohibited public bars until 1987!)

 

The 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution reads:

Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

 

To celebrate the ratification of the 21st Amendment and the repeal of the 18th Amendment, join us Monday, December 5 from 8 pm to Midnight and enjoy cocktails, beer, cider, bbq and live music at 642 Bridge St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504. Here’s a link to the Facebook event page. Here’s a link to purchase your tickets for the event in advance. Highlights of the evening include:

  1. Cocktails from Long Road Distillers
  2. Beer from Creston Brewery
  3. Hard Cider from Peoples Cider Company
  4. BBQ from Two Scott’s BBQ Food Truck
  5. Live Music with The Bootstrap Boys and Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish

Dress in your Sunday Best and party like it’s 1933! Cheers!

Long Road Distillers

In Part 4 of our “What is Bourbon” series, dig into the final requirement for a spirit to be considered bourbon – the aging process – and how that can impact not only how a bourbon tastes, but also how it is labeled.

First, as a bit of a refresher, recall that the legal definition of bourbon whisky, according to the TTB, is:

Whisky produced in the U.S. at not exceeding 80% alcohol by volume (160 proof) from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn and stored at not more than 62.5% alcohol by volume (125 proof) in charred new oak containers.

 

For those new to whisk(e)y or unfamiliar with the process, it’s often a surprise that it all comes off the still clear. It’s only through the aging process in a barrel that the spirit gains it’s familiar caramel or amber colors. The barrel also contributes many of the flavors and aromas we’ve come to expect from our favorite whiskies.

This portion of the definition really covers two details: the storage in a barrel and a limit on the alcohol by volume during said storage.

Before we jump into both details, it’s fair to ask: why is whisky barrel aged at all? The answer is a practical one. Back when whisky was first distilled, the best way to store and ship the finished product was in wooden casks. As we touched on in Part 1, Bourbon whisky, in particular, was shipped down the Ohio River to New Orleans in wooden barrels marked for Bourbon Street. Most spirits of the day would have been stored in barrels, but only over time did people realize the benefits of barrel aging.

American Oak must be used in the making of bourbon barrels. Oak has a unique physical and chemical nature that allows it to be manipulated into a barrel, but also has a tight enough grain that it will not leak while still allowing oxygen to move in and out of the spirit.

Beyond these physical characteristics, though, the oak offers three effects on an aging spirit:

  1. It adds to the taste and aroma of the spirit, such as vanillins, lactones, and wood sugars
  2. It acts as a filter, removing undesirable elements from the spirit such as sulfur compounds
  3. It converts unpleasant compounds, such as acetic acid, into more organoleptically desirable elements, like fruity esters

 

Essentially, the chemical breakdown of the wood sugars contributes flavors that are desirable, while the wood and char combine to contribute spice and toast characteristics.

The second half of this section relates to the proof/abv during the aging process. The Standards of Identity from the TTB requires that the spirit enter the barrel at no higher than 125 proof or 62.5% alcohol by volume. One reason for this is tradition. Early distillery equipment likely didn’t distill the spirit to a very high proof.

The second reason to maintain an upper limit on proof is to keep the level of extraction from getting too out of hand. If you’ve tasted a lot of whiskies, chances are that you’ve run across a whisky that was “over-extracted”. By this, we mean too oaky and on the verge of tasting like a stale cigarette. The higher the proof of the spirit in the barrel, the more quickly it will pull flavors from the barrel and the less time it will have to mellow out and interact with the char, providing the filtering effect.

The length of time the spirits rests in a barrel impacts the final characteristics, too. In general, the longer a spirits rests, the more mellow it will become. Nearly all whisky that is aged less than two years requires a statement of age on the label. This gets into some of the different indicators you can look for on a bottle of bourbon. For example:

Straight Bourbon – must be aged a minimum of two years.

Bottled in Bond Bourbon – must be aged a minimum of four years, distilled in a single season, and bottled at 100 proof.

Finally, the size of the barrel has an impact on the aging process, flavors, aromas and finish of a whisky as well. The smaller the barrel, the greater the surface area-to-volume ratio there is between the wood barrel and the resting whisky. In turn, the smaller the barrel, the faster the aging process and the more flavor will be pulled from the wood. Many start-up distilleries will use 5, 10, or 15 gallon barrels to age their first-release whiskies more quickly, versus opting for a traditional 53 gallon barrel. While this does speed up the process, a distiller also runs the risk of overextraction of tannins, oak, and undesirable flavors, without allowing time for mellowing.

For the Wayfarer’s Whisky Series, our experimental line-up of whiskies, we used 30 gallon barrels with toasted staves and a #3 char from the Barrel Mill in Minnesota. Through careful monitoring and precise heads and tails cuts in the distillation process, our team is able to age our Wheat Whisky, Rye Whisky, Malt Whisky and Bourbon for 8 to 24 months and get a good idea of how the whisky will age over time in larger barrels. Then, once we settled on our mash bills (grain recipes), we started scaling all of our production up to large barrel whisky that we’ll age for 2-6+ years.

Long Road Distillers

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) – Now that November is well underway, it’s the perfect time to introduce a new libation that can warm you up from the inside out. Kyle Van Strien and Jon O’Connor from Long Road Distillers joined eightWest with some samples of their latest offerings. They will be releasing their new Long Road bourbon whiskey Tuesday, November 8, including a big release party from 4 p.m. until midnight. Come grab a seat at the bar to enjoy half off whiskey cocktails during the party. Check out the video to see more details about this tasty release party.

Single barrel releases will be put out in some retail locations throughout the state at Meijer, Art of the Table, the Side Bar, Rishi’s Intenational Beverage.

Original post on WOOD TV 8 Website here.

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