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Rosen Rye

Distilling Rosen Rye at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Distillery

This was a crisp fall Sunday morning. You could barely see the fog of your breath after sipping the hotel cup of coffee. A few of the collaborators had mustered for breakfast. Grabbing bagels, pieces of fruit and whatever else would travel quick and light. Fueling up for the long days journey that lie ahead. Some had barely gotten more than 4 hours sleep from the previous days activities. The sun began illuminating the golden leaves that still clung to their branches. There was an electricity that filled the atmosphere. Anticipation consumed the one mile trek up the winding hill to where the old mill and the distillery stand. It was difficult to adhere to the posted speed limit. Speedily pulling into the parking lot. Hurrying to get out of the car. Gear in hand. We have been here before. But, this time the beast began to come to life.

The walk was familiar. The same familiar pathway. Familiar faces greeted us as we entered the dimly lit distillery. George Washington’s Mount Vernon Distillery still runs on natural light. Sunlight beamed through every window to reveal the magic that was taking place. Sounds of buckets being filled. Wood being stacked neatly next to the stills. Five in all. Named after queens. There was a hive of well orchestrated activity. Mash tons being emptied into buckets. Stills being filled being filled with fermented Keystone Rosen Rye and heirloom corn. Fires being lit. Steam rising from the tubs. Fresh water being diverted from the mill to be used to cool the hot distillate. More wood being carted in. An empty mash tun being turned onto its side and rolled out the door to be cleaned and prepared for the next ferment. The crackle of the fire and the smoke from the wood was a distinct education of how whiskey was made back in the 1700’s. Everyone there was playing a role and focused intently on making history and history come alive.

Steve Bashore drove a big box truck up to Imler, PA. Robert and Sherri McDonald of Dancing Star Farm had 11,000 pounds of grain waiting to be picked up and milled for distilling. The catalyst for this historic event took place between a conversation with Steve and Laura Fields of The Delaware Valley Fields Foundation. Laura loves whiskey, history and promoting heirloom grains and the farmers that grow them. She asked if GWMV would want to run Rosen Rye. Of course Steve was more than happy to make that happen.

Steve got to work planning, organizing and assembling an all-star team to put it all together, people of like mind who love history and distilling. They all came together to create whiskey and retell the story and produce a new one. The sense of camaraderie came through. Of course, having a game plan was helpful. Everyone worked together with a sense of pride. Thomas and Kim Bard came all of the way from Graham, KY, leaving The Bard Distillery for a few days to assist in distilling. Erik and Jim Wolfe, who are no strangers to Rosen, brought their experience and expertise. Stoll and Wolfe Distillery distilled Rosen just 2 years earlier. Lisa Roper Wicker, of Widow Jane, focused on the process as the stills began to offer their sweet and fruity distillate. Lisa has been a familiar face at GWMV since the very beginning. Aleasha Monroe is the head distiller at West Overton. They just released a Monongahela Style Rye and she brought her knowledge and skill. The Mount Vernon team brought it all together.

The Rosen is being distilled with Orange Creole and Bloody Butcher Corn. Time will tell if the juice will be bottled separately or together. It will rest in barrels from Kelvin Cooperage, Speyside Cooperage in Virgina, and a very special barrel made from a 240 year oak tree that fell at Mount Vernon 3 years ago. There is great anticipation for some bottles of the white spirit to be offered. This will provide a prelude of things to come. Whiskey and history lovers alike have so much to look forward to. George Washington’s Mount Vernon Distillery is moving into the future while retaining the roots of the past.

Listen to our interviews as we reflect on this historic event.

Part 1:

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Part 2:

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American Whiskey Convention 2021 – Part 1

Finally, the 16 month wait was over. The American Whiskey Convention 2021 was a major success. With over 250 whiskeys and bourbons to sample it was a hard decision on where to start. We got to meet and speak to some incredible people in the industry. Guests shared their observations on what their favorite picks were and who stood out as a surprise.

The theme this year was Whiskey on the Water and it was hosted by the Independence Seaport Museum. There were master distillers and experts on hand to share the latest stories and philosophies about all things whiskey. Discussion forums focused on the grain. The Convention was created by the Delaware Valley Fields Foundation in 2016. It pays homage to the farmers and those caretakers of the grains that we all love so much. Laura Fields worked tirelessly this year to make sure that the event was compliant with local covid rules. The event is an opportunity for novices and experienced whiskey aficionados alike to enjoy their own experience. The people that we spoke to came away with a fantastic experience. There is so much to see and do that you can’t possibly do it all in one evening.

Available on:

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and more…

Highlights From our Discussion:

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Distillery

Stoll & Wolfe

Delaware Valley Fields Foundation

Dick Stoll

Lititz, PA

A.H.Hirsch

Pernod Ricard USA

Jefferson’s Bourbon

Smooth Ambler

MGP

Contradiction

Heaven Hill Distillery

Evan Williams Small Batch

Larceny Small Batch

Rittenhouse Rye

Old Fitzgerald

Old Limestone Mixing Water

Episode 30 – Ethan Smith – Michter’s Pennsylvania

Ethan Smith

🎙Check out the latest episode featuring Ethan Smith. Ethan has a passion and curiosity for the old Bomberger’s Distillery which was more recently Michter’s in Pennsylvania. The seed for Ethan’s hunger to discover Michter’s was planted in him when he was a kid. Originating in a brochure rack. It reappeared in an antiques store and since that fateful day he has been consumed with the Michter’s legacy. Even turning his home into a makeshift Michter’s museum to preserve the famous history. Michter’s closed on Valentine’s Day 1990 but, Ethan helps to keep the story alive.
bluecapriethan@gmail.com The Ethan Smith Blog

Available on:

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and more…

Highlights from our discussion:

Bomberger’s Distillery

Michter’s Distillery

Dick Stoll

Stoll & Wolfe Distillery

Schaefferstown, PA

Susquehanna River Valley

WGAL

Evan Williams

Jack Daniels

Rosen Rye

American Whiskey Convention

Tom’s Foolery Distillery

Continental Distilling Corporation

Michter’s Decanters List

Episode #15 Whiskey Smash – West Overton Village

West Overton Distilling

This episode features Whiskey Smash at West Overton Village.109 W Overton Rd, Scottdale, PA 15683 (724) 887-7910 info@westovertonvillage.org – www.westovertonvillage.org –  On Facebook

Available on:

🎧 Apple https://lnkd.in/eV9WjKn

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🎧 Spotify https://lnkd.in/e4uRqeW

🎧iHeart Radio https://lnkd.in/emrF8Zg … and more

We had the pleasure of interviewing:

Aaron Hollis – Director of Education at West Overton Village

Rob Hough from Liberty Pole Spirits 

Aleasha Monroe – Head Distiller at West Overton Distilling

Sam Komlenic – Copy Editor for Whiskey Advocate

Jim Wolfe – Stoll and Wolfe Distillillery

Robert McDonald – Grain Specialist at Dancing Star Farms

Highlights from our discussion:

Monongahela Rye

Rosen Rye

Dillinger Distillery

Michter’s Distilley

Jim Beam

Wild Turkey

Dad’s Hat Rye

Whiskey Rebellion

Whiskey Rebellion Trail

Red Pump Spirits

Barrel 21 Distillery

Crooked Creek Distillery

Tall Pines Distillery

PA Libations

Cheers!

Episode #13 – Dick Stoll

Interviewing Dick Stoll
Interviewing Dick Stoll

This episode features Dick Stoll of Stoll & Wolfe Distillery.  Dick is the last man to have distilled Rosen Rye in Pennsylvania.  He shares his experiences at Michter’s Distillery and so much more!  The episode was recorded at Stoll & Wolfe which is located at:  35 North Cedar St, Lititz, PA, 17543 – 717-799-4499 www.stollandwolfe.com –  On Facebook

Available on:

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🎧 Spotify https://lnkd.in/e8NBjPa

🎧iHeart Radio https://lnkd.in/e2j3Tej

… and more

Highlights from our discussion:

Michter’s Distillery

Rosen Rye

Charles Everett Beam

Michter’s Distillery Kentucky

Pennco Distillers

Bomberger’s Distillery

National Distillers

Baltimore Pure Rye

A.H. Hirsch

Wild Turkey

Corn for the Mash

Cheers!

History In The Distilling

Distilling Rosen Rye

An anxious crowd gathered around Laura Fields, of the Seed Spark Project, as she introduced the star of the day. Since 2015, Rosen rye seeds have been cultivated and re-planted on agricultural test plots in State College, PA to produce enough usable grain to distill into whiskey. Rosen rye had been in the fermenter since September 3rd and was ready to be distilled at Stoll and Wolfe Distillery in Lititz, Pennsylvania.

Dick Stoll was the last man to distill Rosen rye into whiskey at Michter’s Distillery in Schaefferstown, Pa. Liquid began to flow into the still and Dick looked on with a very watchful eye. It was an emotional moment for Erik Wolfe as he explained the process of what was about to take place in the distillation. Finally, all of the hard work and preparation would become a reality.

It was all hands on deck as things heated up. Jim Wolfe and Avianna Wolfe took their places to make sure that the pressure and temperatures remained stable as the column still began to produce the first evidence of juice. The whole team at Stoll and Wolfe was amazing. For the next 3 hours there was joy, laughter and camaraderie as guests shared stories, asked questions and got their first taste of the “White Dog”. Oh, how sweet it is!

The journey continues as some of the Rosen rye which has now been given over to the barrel gods. The remaining un-aged portion will be available to taste and sample.

It was an incredible experience to be able to watch the whole process come together. Fermented Adventure has had the pleasure of visiting many distilleries. However, it is rare to witness the production of craft distilled spirits. The day culminated with enjoying one last taste. Fermented Adventure the Podcast sat down with Dick Stoll and learned more about his story. Look for the interview on your favorite Podcast Platform.

It all started with a seed. It was a perfect day in a perfect place. It may sound cliche, but, on September 7, 2019 a lot of peoples hard work, visions and dreams came true. That’s what is at the heart of the craft distillery industry.

Episode #12 – Herman Mihalich – Dad’s Hat

Herman Mihalich of Dad's Hat

This episode features Herman Mihalich of Dad’s Hat.  Herman and John S. Cooper are the founders of Dad’s Hat.  They start from scratch to make genuine small batch rye.  Their mission is to distill and deliver classic Pennsylvania Rye spirits following over 200 years of American distilling tradition.  It all started with an article in The New York Times in 2006 promoting the comeback of Rye Whiskey.  But, truly, Rye Whiskey is in their blood and is a family tradition.  Dad’s Hat is located at Mountain Laurel Spirits, 925 Canal Street, Building 44, Bristol, PA 19007 – 215-781-8300 www.dadshatrye.com –  On Facebook

Available on:

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🎧 Spotify https://lnkd.in/eHenDVm

🎧 iHeart Radio https://lnkd.in/eGaSzQ4

Highlights from our discussion:

Michigan State Artisan Distillery Program

MGP

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

Nevada Mease – MeadowBrook Farms

Signature Communication

The Sam Thompson Distillery

Rosen Rye

S. Rosen Bakery Company

Schenley Rye Whiskey

Sam Komlenic

John and Linda Lipman

Gibson Rye Whiskey

West Overton Village

Jim Beam

Whiskey Rebellion Festival

Fruitwood Orchards

Jacquins

Cheers!

Episode #10 – Laura Fields / Delaware Valley Fields Foundation

In the episode we sit down with Laura Fields of the Delaware Valley Fields Foundation.  Laura shares her passion for agriculture which began with her mother who founded Flint Hill Farm in Coopersburg, PA.  We delve into the important role that the Penn State Agricultural Extension plays in the development of Rosen Rye.  Laura talks about her mission with the Seed Spark campaign and how she is introducing all facets of agriculture and farming to the craft distilling industry. Stoll and Wolf Distillery in Lititz, PA plays an important role in the reintroduction of Rosen Rye to the Spirit community.  We discuss the history of Prohibition and its impact on Pennsylvania distilleries like Michter’s. We review the American Whiskey Convention and look forward to the 5th Annual in 2020,  You can find them on Facebook @AmericanWhiskeyConvention.  If you’re in New Hope, PA for the Halloween Season be sure to make Specters and Spirits an annual tradition.  Cheers!

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