What Whisky Distillers and Blenders Are Drinking During Lockdown
Whisky lovers, too, are adapting to the new order by converting in-person tastings to virtual meetups, and visiting distilleries digitally rather than actually traveling there.
With much of the world practicing social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus, many daily habits have changed, from commuting to childcare to mealtimes. Whisky lovers, too, are adapting to the new order by converting in-person tastings to virtual meetups, and visiting distilleries digitally rather than actually traveling there. The ongoing isolation is giving every drinker a chance to kick half-consumed bottles, revisit comforting old favorites, and even pull down the special stuff—because if not now, when?
It’s just the same with whisky professionals, many of whom—when not making hand sanitizer or high-proof ethanol to use in sanitizing products—are working from home or have found their schedules adjusted to reduce contact with colleagues. Ashok Chokalingam, master distiller at India’s Amrut, has been trying to finish off bottles, including high-end releases like Greedy Angels and Spectrum, matured in a one-of-a-kind hybrid cask. But he’s not limiting his drams to Amrut’s whiskies; he has also been enjoying single malts from other Indian distilleries, as well as a couple of bourbons: Blanton’s and the now-discontinued Old Charter 12 year old.
In the last decade, the Lone Star State has experienced a whiskey boom. Ask any bartender, including Caudebec, and they’ll tell you that Texas, particularly Austin and the nearby Texas Hill Country, is home to some of the best craft whiskeys in the nation. And of the growing crop of new distilleries, one of the region’s clear standouts is Milam & Greene: an independent, women-owned whiskey brand.
These five new grain-to-glass releases are proof that the state’s still-young whiskey industry is developing a bold regional profile.
The Lone Star State, the largest in terms of square mileage in the continental U.S. as well as one of its most populous, encompasses a wide range of home-grown spirits. In other words, don’t mess with Texas.