The world's first ryegrass whiskey is now available. This is not the rye grain that many of you are familiar with - this is ryegrass, the plant grown for turf and forage here in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Actually, we are the ryegrass capitol of the world and produce much of the planet's grass seed. During my previous biofuel research using ryegrass, we learned that there is quite a bit of usable sugar in the grass at certain growth stages. Where there is sugar, there can be fermentation! We made the beer and it was awful due the salts that the grass plant also takes up. We then distilled the beer and got a whole different animal. The resulting flavor profile has a rhum agricole or cachaca sort of feel - earthy and, yes, sort of grassy. We then created a whiskey with a ryegrass component in an otherwise typical Bourbon recipe (#2) and put it into a new 30 gallon charred American Oak barrel.
After a year in new oak, the ryegrass whiskey has been moved to an old barrel to mellow. I have released 12 of cases for the 2018 holidays. It is available only at the tasting room and selected events. The only size is 375 ml and the price is $39.95. Stop by and taste this unique offering. We are having a release party on Saturday, November 24 from 12-5 PM in the Spiritopia tasting room. There will also be snacks and mini-cocktails to help celebrate the long-awaited (5 years) arrival of this truly unique regional whiskey.
2018 Tasting Notes: Color: Pale golden with a hint of amber. Aroma: Medium tenor oak notes with a suggestion of earthiness. Taste: Mellow with topnotes of vanillins and hay.