Whiskey and beer are made from many of the same ingredients. So as craft distilleries explore new recipes, using beer directly in the process seems like a natural step.
Especially when that beer is coming from a next door neighbor.
On Friday, Wander North Distillery unveils the new Uncharted series, a line of whiskeys in which Wander North has taken a beer mash (the pre-fermentation mix of water, barley, and hops) and distilled it — thereby turning your beer, NorthGate’s Get Together IPA, into whiskey.
The most striking impression of this Uncharted 1 whiskey is its depth and flavor. It boasts a floral note up front with shades of the orange and lemon notes of Get Together, followed by a bold and toasty body that finishes exceptionally smooth.
“This is a young whiskey but the amount of complexity and flavor in here will shock a lot of people,” Winter says.
Enjoyed neat, it’s powerful with an upfront kick that mellows at the back; a single ice cube added to it quickly levels the tasting experience and softens the drink.
Uncharted 1 stands on its own; there is no direct beer impression in the flavor and the hops have subdued with time. But side by side with the beer, the floral and citrus nuances jump to the front and the relationship is more evident.
If sipping a neat whiskey in July isn’t your style, Winter also suggests a whiskey sour to let the floral notes take new life within a carbonated and citrusy cocktail.
The first 6 releases in the Uncharted series are to be spread over the next 13 months and will all feature Northeast or North Loop breweries. While the name Uncharted will tie them together, Wander North owner/distiller Brian Winter says each is a new product entirely.
“Each of them, just coming off the still alone, has tasted very different,” he explains. “That comes down to yeast and specialty malts."
Future whiskeys will start as 612Brew Unrated Rye IPA (October 2016), NorthGate Wall’s End Brown Ale (December 2016), NorthGate Fiddle Smasher (March 2017), 56/Inbound blend and Modist Warhammer (July 2017), and NorthGate ESB (August 2017).
Uncharted 1 is set to hit local bottle stores and bars, and a special release party will conquer Grumpy’s Northeast at 5 p.m. today. They will sell the whiskey in tandem with NorthGate Get Together, in a deal that gets you a shot and a firkin pour for $9.
2200 4th St NE
Friday, July 8, 5 p.m.