Since the debut of their Minnesota 13 un-aged whiskey, Bob McManus and Lee Egbert have been hard at work. They’ve built a new still, ordered a few truck loads of barrels, and cleared out space to serve some cocktails. Here’s what to expect from 11 Wells Spirits for the rest of the year and in to 2015.
Maelstrom Rum: Their newest release, in stores now, Maelstrom Rum is distilled from sugar cane juice in the tradition of rhum agricole. It’s a fresh, clean spirit, a natural ally to any cocktail with lime juice (see one of many daiquiris I’ve been drinking this week, below). It also has a distinct floral element on the nose and the finish, which leaves it feeling almost like a blanco tequila. It would also be a smart mixing rum in any cocktail that calls for both dark and light rums.
Barrel Aged Whiskeys for Christmas: 11 Wells was also quick to get whiskey into small barrels a few months ago. Expect Bourbon and rye whiskey, each with about 3 to 4 months of age on them, in 375ml bottles (like the one on the right, above) to be in stores for the holidays. How neatly they’d fit into your loved one’s stockings?
Other Spirits on the Horizon: They won’t be resting on the laurels of their main spirits for long. Among their tentative plans: white rye whiskey, white bourbon whiskey (both un-aged spirits like Minnesota 13), a blackstrap molasses rum, and then a host of secondary spirits including a line of vermouths, absinthes and fernet. Why all these mixing spirits? Well…
Cocktail Room: Bob and Lee are currently wading through upholstery samples and paint swatches, in anticipation of having a classy new cocktail room open by the spring. They’ll be shooting for smoking-room chic meets warehouse industrial. Since cocktail rooms in the state can only pour spirits made on site, the vermouths and such will ensure a well-rounded cocktail program will take root in the old Hamm’s brewery.