By Debbie Shocair
Craft distilling is making its mark on our American spirits heritage, and New Liberty Distillers in Pennsylvania is a case in point. Their building, which houses not only the distillery, but also the rick house, once served as a horse stable. Much of the architecture, including the stables, has been preserved in the distillery’s design.
“It’s different. It’s whiskey craft distilling, it’s gonna bring the country back, hearkening to its roots in whiskey.” So says Sam Schmidt, GM at New Liberty Spirits in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as he speaks proudly about Penna Dutch Malt Whiskey. It’s crafted from 100% malted barley, sourced from Deer Malthouse, the first commercial malthouse in Pennsylvania since prohibition, and the company utilizes traditional floor-malting techniques. Schmidt says that, though the bottle claims it has been aged at least 6 months, the product is made primarily of malt whiskey aged in new char oak barrels at least 18, 14, and 12 months, along with some 6 month spirit. The barley used is a varietal referred to as “The Dutch,” and is the same barley used in Oktoberfest-style beers.
The nose on this Malt Whiskey was grassy, with bright toasted oak and toffee. Breaking it with a ½ teaspoon of water brought out vanilla, and pushed the sweet caramel and toffee notes to the front.
The mouthfeel was across the top of the tongue as well as under it. It was a nice tingle for a 102 proof spirit, without being too hot.
The medium finish was very nice indeed, beginning with a sense of leather. It was fairly dry at first, with a sense of sweetness to to follow, along with coffee, bitter chocolate and walnuts. It left a wonderfully smooth, silky mouthfeel in its wake.
This is a whiskey worth seeking. At around $50, I recommend you try this Malt from our historic heartland.