Friday, May 23, 2014

This Week in COLAs: Black Maple Hill from Oregon, Dutch Rye and More


Two Black Maple Hill labels cleared for whiskeys distilled by the Stein Distillery in Oregon, a bourbon and a rye (NAS but both are straights).

Millstone 100, a Dutch rye whiskey, looks to be headed our way.  It's made from 100% rye, bottled at 100 proof and 100% milled by Dutch windmills according to the label.

Batch 6 of the Laphroaig 10 year old Cask Strength was cleared.  The listed abv (which is subject to change) is 58%.  Be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle before you drink it, and "add twice as much water as whisky."


17 comments:

Clay Risen said...

So BMH is sourcing from a five-year-old microdistillery? Correct me if I'm wrong, but has a major brand ever sourced from a craft outfit? What's in it for a place like Stein, which presumably is not lacking for customers? And since when is BMH so forthcoming about its sourcing?

sku said...

As far as I know, this is the first time one of the big brands has sourced from a craft distillery. What's in it for Stein would be massive exposure in a label with a cult following. And no, I've never, ever seen a distillery statement on a BMH label.

Anonymous said...

Since it is labeled as straight with no age state on the bottle that puts it at 4 years.

My guess is: Stein sells their white dog to KBD during their first couple of years of production. Stein gets operating income without having to sell the white dog direct to consumer, KBD can age the product as long as they want for profit.

sku said...

Anon, the COLA came directly from the Stein distillery and KBD surrendered their COLAs for BMH earlier this month so it would appear that KBD is no longer involved. It looks like this was a direct deal between CVI (BMH parent company) and Stein.

Josh Feldman said...

I just entertained a Dutch visitor (Vrame Hoogendijk) who brought some Millstone rye. A group of us NYC whisky folk put it head to head with Manhattan Rye (another young craft 100% rye - my favorite of the Hudson line) and found the Millstone bigger, sweeter, rounder and more pleasing.

tanstaafl2 said...

I can second the impression of the Millstone Rye 100. I have several bottles imported from overseas and have been drinking it on occasion for more than a year. Certainly the best Dutch whisky I have ever had (OK, not much competition there!) but also one of the best in general. But this isn't a young rye. At 100 months this is a full 8+ years old and it shows. But how could it not be wonderful? After all it is ground on Dutch windmills! Does it get any better than that???

tanstaafl2 said...

Hmm, should have looked at the COLA first! I don't see it mentioning the 100 month age. The bottles I have from the Netherlands do note that secifically on the label but this label is completely different in appearance leaving me to wonder if it is the same whisky.

Florin said...

@tanstaafl2, it is common for companies to sell different whiskies to the US market. Leaving aside a number of Scotch distilleries that have 43% versions in the US vs. 40% in Europe (Laphroaig 10yo, Speyburn 10yo, Glenmorangie 10yo etc), some micros keep the good stuff for home - e.g. Reisetbauer 7yo single malt has a crazy 56% version in Austria but only the 43% version for US.

David D said...

Remember that "big brand" BMH is a guy in a garage about as big as the average corner store in an industrial part of San Carlos, CA. The biggest brand he distributes is Tariquet Armagnac. He's just one man.

tanstaafl2 said...

Indeed it is common to see different proof sold in different countries (Bourbon in Australia comes to mind as well) but it would be extremely disappointing to see this whisky passed off as Millstone Rye 100 but have no age statement as compared to the 100 month (8+ year) age statement on the European bottle. It would certainly not be the same whisky, no matter how they might try to spin it and I would not give it the same positive recommendation without knowing the age of this particular version. Millstone has also made a 5 year old rye as well but the US label doesn't even note that as the age. Very disappointing. I know David D (as noted in his recent blog post "A Reminder of the Microcosm" notes that most people outside the whiskey nerd community won't care but I won't let that stop me from poking the beast! I have emailed Zuidam and hope for a response but won't hold my breath...

sku said...

Thanks tanstaafl2, please let us know if they respond.

David D said...

You should definitely keep poking the beast! Just because no one else cares doesn't mean you should ever stop doing anything of interest to you personally. I don't know anyone else who obsesses about obscure wrestling matches from the mid-90s, but that doesn't ever stop me from watching them. It just stops me from posting online about how everything from the current age of wrestling sucks.

Poke on!!

tanstaafl2 said...

Pleased to report that Patrick van Zuidam (it is a family business to be sure!) has quickly replied to my query. He indicates that they have no intention of changing the whisky for the US market. Distillation and bottling date will be included on each bottle on the lower label and I presume that means it will still be at least 100 months old. Still, it is a bit concerning that the proposed label does not state that as it still does on the European bottle. He enclosed a picture of a 700 ml bottle with the new black label (picture is on SB.com) that still says 100 months, unlike the proposed COLA label in the link posted here. I hope they will add that back to the label although with the dates included on the label we will at least be able to determine the age for ourselves.

Trey said...

I do appreciate a good Laphroaig at 15% ABV...

Anonymous said...

[Re Laphroaig CS]: Twice as much water as whisky? What ARE they thinking of?!!

Mat Garretson said...

David D: agree on your assessment of BMH as a 'big' brand. The only thing that makes/made them 'big' is the fact that Julian Van Winkle sold him some juice that he felt wasn't worthy of bottling under his own label (something he later regretted).

As far as BMH importing Tariquet, I'm not so sure of that. Bobby Kacher has been importing them for decades.

sku said...

Matt, CVI (owners of BMH) definitely import Tariquet. I spoke to them when I reviewed it. It could be that they have a different importer on the East Coast.