The Twin Cities’ newest Scotch whisky bar is a Viking ship

Minnesotans interested in fine Scotch whisky have an unlikely, new bar to visit: a 30-foot viking longship in front of U.S. Bank Stadium. Throughout the 2018–19 Vikings football season, Highland Park—which hails from an island at the intersection of the Atlantic and the North Sea—will be doling out samples of its single-malt Scotch whisky in … [ Read more]

A Pocket Full of Rye: How a lowly, northern grain is mounting a comeback through whiskey

Stalks of rye bob in the summer breeze in a field near Cambridge, Minnesota. It is a cereal grass in the wheat family—seeded in the fall, it stays green and patient throughout the winter, then skyrockets in the early spring. It shoots up from the gray, powdery soil, gets a deep tan, and then grows … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Brother Justus Whiskey Company

In the never-ending debate on how long a whiskey needs to age, Phil Steger of Brother Justus Whiskey Company offers a fresh take. While many consider the job of an oak barrel to be “smoothing out” a spirit—giving the liquid time to breath, mellow, and evolve—Steger thinks that may be asking too much. “We want to show … [ Read more]

Bob Dylan to release his own line of whiskey, Heaven’s Door

In addition to being a folk music god and winning a Nobel Prize, Bob Dylan can now add a whiskey brand to his extensive repertoire. Having crooned about whiskey many times throughout his storied career, next month the Americana icon will release a collection of three whiskeys under the brand Heaven’s Door Spirits. The idea … [ Read more]

Fooling Father Time: ‘Rapid-aging’ and the future of craft whiskey

The standard formula for whiskey, the way it’s always been done, is this: you fill up an oak barrel with a clear spirit and then you wait. And wait. And wait. Inside that barrel, things slowly unfold. Alcohol seeps into the toasted oak, degrading the polymers that make up its structure. The lignin and hemicellulose in … [ Read more]

RockFilter Distillery opens in June poised to make Minnesota’s best whiskey

The floodgates open and water rushes in. The entire building starts to tremble—cobwebs shake, beams shudder, a haze of flour shoots into the air. Turbines and belts from the 1870s are whirring just like they have for over a century. This is Schech’s Mill, the oldest water-powered mill with its original equipment in the state. … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Branch Water at Norseman Distillery

On the first beautiful day of spring, I was admiring the Wüsthofs at Eversharp when I noticed the patio at Norseman Distillery. A single table was bathed in golden sunlight, as if the heavens had sent down a reservation placard for me and my girlfriend. We skipped across the parking lot to that table and, … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Water

This month’s Craft Cocktail is the Branch Water at Norseman Distillery, a remarkably uncomplicated whiskey and water. So, for this month’s Spirits Close-Up we decided to take a look at how water can enhance the whiskey-drinking experience.  Are you telling us to water down our cocktails? You’re doing it already. Water is an important ingredient … [ Read more]

Wander North to release second Uncharted Whiskey on October 7

The liquid distillers use to make spirits is often referred to as distiller’s beer. It makes sense since the process of mashing and fermenting the distiller’s beer is essentially the same as that of your favorite craft brewery. Wander North‘s Uncharted series, though, is a literal take on the term as it uses the malted barley mash … [ Read more]

Wander North debuts whiskey series made from Northeast craft beers

Wander North Distillery, maker of Outpost Vodka, is debuting a series of whiskies made from the beers of Northeast Minneapolis. Their Uncharted whiskies are made in collaboration with several breweries, and distilled from the distinctive malt bills of some iconic Northeast beers. “After the release of the Applejack we did in collaboration with Sociable Cider … [ Read more]

U.S. craft distillery count now up to 1,825 (and counting)

The number of current Distilled Spirits Permits—the federal permit required to lawfully operate a distillery—has grown from 560 in 2010 to 1,865 in 2016, reports The Whiskey Wash. In 2015 alone, almost 400 permits were issued. As of this year, more than 1,000 craft distilleries are now operating in the United States, an exponential growth … [ Read more]

J. Carver Distillery debuts bourbon whiskey

J. Carver Distillery of Waconia announces the release of their first batch of bourbon whiskey. The spirit has a mashbill of 75 percent corn and 25 percent rye, and has been aged Minnesota-coopered oak barrels. “Not only is this one of the first bourbons made in Minnesota, it has been distilled with grains harvested close to … [ Read more]

Great Scotch! The world is running out of single malt Scotch whisky

Lovers of single malt Scotch whisky may notice their wallets are a little lighter the next time they reach for their favorite bottle as prices for older vintages climbs due to greater global demand. According to a report by CNN Money, record demand for single malt Scotch whisky in the U.S. and developing countries like China … [ Read more]

Free wine and whiskey at The Lowry on International Women’s Day

The Lowry is marking International Women’s Day, March 8, the best way possible: by giving women free wine and whiskey. All you have to do is bring a new or gently used handbag (or the three you have crammed into the corner of the front closet) to donate to Dress for Success between 4-8pm, and you’ll receive … [ Read more]

How Maker’s Mark makes its mark: A glimpse into the world of master distiller Greg Davis

Greg Davis, master distiller at Maker’s Mark in Loretto, Kentucky, is all about the craft spirit craze. “I like to call them the experimental distillers,” he says of the distillers embracing the new techniques and templates that are shaking up the spirits world. But Maker’s Mark, Davis says, is focused on legacy, with a distilling … [ Read more]