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Q2 American Whiskey Club 2020

May 26, 2020

Q2 American Whiskey Club 2020

Wilderness Trail PlumpJack Single Barrel Cask Strength Rye | 55.5% ABV | 4 years 8 months

For this quarter’s selection, we sought out a distillery that is making waves in their home state but are not quite possessing the same status here in California. Here at PlumpJack, we pride ourselves in partnering with producers and catching them on the incline as they approach national recognition in the whiskey world. So, we felt it was necessary to fly out to Kentucky to partner with Wilderness Trail Distillery. They have unique offerings, methods, and practices, such as using sweet mash instead of sour mash, creating their own proprietary Infusion Mashing Process, using a clean steam boiler, and owning multiple aging Rickhouses on site.  We are proud to offer you the first Wilderness Trail single barrel selection in Northern California. The angel’s sure got their share on this barrel which, was very light. We only got 120 bottles, and normally a barrel should yield 175-250 bottles. So, if you fall in love it, re-order it quickly before it is gone forever!

Wilderness Trail Distillery was launched in 2012 by Shane Baker and Pat Heist, who both have strong scientific backgrounds and more than 20 years of industry experience. Baker comes from a bourbon-industry family, and his grandmother Doris Ballard worked for Stizel-Weller for 50 years. Heist founded a company called Ferm Solutions; a research, product development, engineering and technical service provider to distilled spirits industries. This company consults for hundreds of distilleries.

Over the years, Baker and Heist played mad scientists, experimenting with different yeast strains, wanting to attain and achieve a flavor profile uncommon in today’s market. Perhaps the most notable distinction is their pioneering use of a “sweet mash” instead of a “sour mash” whiskey making technique. The “sour mash” technique is a very traditional and common way of producing whiskey, which provides ease and consistency amongst distilleries producing larger quantities. Distillers use spent “mash”, which still contains dead yeast (a food source for live yeast) to begin the fermentation of the next batch, similarly, to making sourdough bread with a starter. “Sweet mash”, on the other hand, requires a lot more attention to detail and maintenance. A sweet mash skips the use of material from a previous batch and yeast is added to a new fresh batch of beer (unfermented whiskey) without any pH adjustments, providing more flavors from the grains. Wilderness Trail preaches that when done correctly, sweet mashing can produce superior quality with the distillate tasting “softer” and “more flavorful” then sour mashing. Using their clean steam boilers, they can avoid boiler chemicals which can result in off flavors. Innovation is one thing, making great whiskey is another. Luckily for us, Wilderness Trail is strong in both areas.

#4 Char | 110 entry proof  Rye Mashbill:56% Rye33% Corn11% Malted Barley

Tasting Notes:

Aroma: spearmint, black tea, butterscotch candy, stone fruit, orange zest, maple syrup

Taste: black tea, allspice, clove, vanilla, orange zest, apricot pit, rye spice, caramel

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