March 2021 News & Updates

With the taste of spring weather we got last week and the continued good public health news, we find ourselves feeling optimistic about where things are headed. We're hopeful that we'll be able to travel again and visit our spirit and cocktail-loving friends across the Midwest later this year, and we've been talking with people about events and activities for the summer and fall. And, we're excited about our annual malt whiskey release this weekend too! It'll be a low-key event, but still something to celebrate.

2021 Malt Whiskey is Here!

As you may know, every year since 2012, we have shared our single malt whiskey on the Saturday closest to St. Patrick's Day, and a few years ago we began selling bottles at the distillery, too. We make this whiskey in the style of some of the finest Irish whiskeys we've had; it's made from a malted barley mash, pot-stilled, then aged in full-sized bourbon barrels for at least 6 years. Call us old-fashioned, but we believe great whiskey takes time. We're proud of how it has matured over the years, and we're excited to share it with you this year - both by the glass and by the bottle.

Tasting Notes

This whiskey demonstrates the style and flavor profile we look for in a superior pot-distilled malt whiskey. Our 2021 blend has a rich, spicy nose with hints of honey and fruit. On the palate, it leads with smooth spice notes, hints of tobacco and caramel, with a touch of pear and oak on a delicate, round finish.

Stop By & Taste

This Saturday, March 20th will be the official release day, with a preview on Friday, March 19. We'll sell the malt whiskey by the dram, and starting on Saturday, by the bottle too. And, we'll have some special snacks for the weekend, Irish music and a socially distant toast or two!

Is it Whiskey or Whisky? 

In the United States and Ireland it's "whiskey," in Scotland, Canada and some other countries, it is "whisky." All whisk(e)ys are made from grain - various grains can be used, and the type of grain affects what type of whiskey you are making. For example:
  • Bourbon whiskey must be made in the United States, and it must be made from at least 51% corn mash in its production. There are a number of other rules set forth by the US government, such as aging in new American oak.
  • Scotch whisky must be made in Scotland, and is made primarily from malted barley. There are a number of other rules for the various categories of Scotch; for some styles the barley is first malted and then dried over a peat fire, which imparts smoky aromas and flavors in the spirit.
  • Irish whiskey must be made in Ireland, and is made primarily from barley as well, but some of the barley is unmalted. Irish whiskeys typically have a softer, mellower profile than Scotch, and peat is rarely used. 
  • Rye whiskey - in the United States, this is a whiskey that uses at least 51% rye in the mash. In contrast, a "Canadian rye whisky" may not contain any rye at all - it might be made from other grains altogether. 

Straight vs. Blended

Another aspect of whiskey is whether it is straight or blended - straight whiskeys are either not mixed with anything, or mixed only with other whiskey from the same distiller; blended whiskeys may include whiskey from other distilleries, and can also include a little or a lot of neutral spirit (used to tone down flavor intensity), and also other flavorings. Blended whiskeys typically have a much lighter flavor than straight whiskeys.

Upcoming Virtual Events

Join us for some tasting, mixing & conversation

  • Spring Cocktail Class (Virtual)- Saturday, April 10th @ 7 pm - make plans to join us on Zoom for a cocktail making seminar! We'll discuss some great ingredients for spring cocktails, and we'll make and mix some together as well. We'll have an optional cocktail kit if you're in our area, and we'll send out the ingredient list ahead of time, too.
  • Whiskey Geek Out Session (Virtual) - Saturday April 24th @ 7 pm - we'll do a deep dive on whiskey, tasting and discussing a variety of different styles, the history of this beloved spirit, and some great whiskey cocktails! This class will come with an optional whiskey tasting kit, including small bottles of our three whiskeys and a couple of cocktail mixes.
We're working on plans for later this spring and summer to resume some of our in-person activities away from the distillery, and across the Midwest - we'll start doing those things just as soon as it seems like a good idea to do so (hopefully soon). In the meantime, if you have an idea for another class or virtual event you'd like to see us offer, let us know.

Tasting Room, Cocktail Kits & More

We have been continually adjusting our hours and options to comply with public health guidance – as always, keep an eye on our website and social media for the latest on our offerings and hours. We plan to open the bar on Thursdays in mid-April. We are still creating fun cocktail kits, cocktails-to-go and other ways for you to enjoy our spirits safely at home if you're in our area but not venturing out. We also have a full cocktail archive on our website with lots of great cocktail ideas!

Here are a few of this month's new Cocktail Kits at the tasting room:
  • What's My Name - our of our favorites off of our new menu, with North Shore Vodka, grapefruit cordial, mint & fresh lemon. You can also add egg white at home for extra foam!
  • Searching for Spring - if you're searching for spring, this cocktail is the thing! It's bright, citrusy & floral, and can be made with either Twisted Citrus Vodka or Dearborn Gin.
  • Strawberry Collins - this delicious sipper is also perfect for ushering in spring - or at least pretending it's here! With fresh muddled berries, Scofflaw Old Tom Gin and club soda.
Our online store is also stocked with mixers, our cocktails to go, and our new cocktail kits. All online orders must be picked up at the distillery - we offer contact-free, curbside pickup.
Copyright © 2021 North Shore Distillery, LLC, All rights reserved.

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