Notes from Ansley: Crispin’s take on his new 4 YR Wheat Whiskey

Crispin Cain of Tamar Distillery:

I started making experimental batches of whiskey in 1992, a small experiment. In 2008 a dear friend asked if I would explain distillation. He makes lots of homemade beer, so I asked, “what are you making beer from today?” “A malt extract of Bavarian wheat” was the answer, so that weekend we did the mash and, a few weeks later, distilled it in a tiny still. The spirit that emerged was remarkable and fine. I brought it to Ansley Coale and told him I planned to make whiskey!

This is a blend of 4 and 5 year old wheat whiskies, made in 2010 and 2011, the first that my son Devin and I made for the Low Gap label. As our first serious production, it took much blood, sweat, tears, but it also won Artisan Whiskey of the Year from Malt Advocate when we bottled some of it as clear whiskey. This release was aged in new and used bourbon barrels, used Cognac barrels, and used port barrels. The flavor profile is dense and very complex and (at 45.5% ABV) lends itself well to cocktails.

This whiskey is my favorite in a whiskey and soda, and also on the rocks. For maximum enjoyment, I recommend sipping slowly.


Crispin Cain’s of Tamar Distillery’s New Release: Straight Bourbon


From Crispin Cain of Low Gap Whiskey:

Low Gap Bourbon, released today, is the pinnacle of our whiskey production. I am pleased with my bourbon’s first showing. The Bourbon was inspired by my maternal Grandfather, Ted Ultsch, a devout bourbon man. I brought him a bottle of Germain-Robin in 1991 and he sent it back to me unopened, saying he drinks ONLY bourbon! He lived to be 94, passing away peacefully while napping right after winning $500 playing craps in Reno.

I made my first whiskey at home in 1992 when I got ahold of a 5-gallon bucket of the same barley malt used to make Red Tail Ale.

When I made the prototype of the Malted Wheat Whiskey in 2008 at Greenway Distillers, I knew then the possibilities for making the best whiskey ever. In 2010, we started making whiskey in earnest, but I waited to make bourbon until I was fully confident about the whole production process.

The nose is full, with butter, vanilla, sweet corn, and oak. At 43.2% ABV the bourbon is approachable and smooth. Extremely likeable and friendly, this whiskey is both something to keep and something to share.

The bourbon’s mash bill includes 65% corn, 20% malted barley, and 15% malted rye. Complete fermentation to dryness, and double distillation in an old Cognac still, lend this whiskey its best qualities. A straight bourbon, it has been aged for two years in new bourbon barrels.