The malt arrived at Matchbook 2+ years ago. We milled it, mashed it, fermented it, double pot distilled it and barrel aged it. We worked with our friends at Valley Malt in Hadley Massachusetts to bring in, malt, and cherry smoke some danko rye grown by Thor Oeschner in the Finger Lakes. For more on that click here.
We do a lot of exploration here at Matchbook and that includes barrel-work. We take them apart, play around with staves, find new woods, and think about what liquids would marry nicely. In our rickhouse we have New Americans, sherry butts, old rum barrels, the hold ryes, wheateds, rums, brandies, and all esle. Barrels with new parts, barrels that have been reworked. At the center of this is our resident carpenter/distillery hand/boat builder, planing, bending and wrangling.
While cherry wood smoked single malt was aging, a local arborist offered us some freshly chopped cherry wood. Stephen got to work on it - milling it and shaping it -- into a gorgeous, warm, pink pair of barrel heads. He then nestled them into a deconstructed barrel. It was filled with whiskey where it rested for an additional month.
We double proud of the results. This is our first entry into the category of Empire Rye, an accomplishment in itself. But to then figure out how to make it a bit more us, a bit more Matchbook, using local sourcing and handwork, we created something truly special.
We are proud of this new Metamodernity Cherry Wood. Enjoy it while we have it! And look out for more in the future.