Friday, January 15, 2010
Day 15 Drink: Old Potrero Hotaling's Single Malt Whiskey
Rye is a misunderstood and often underappreciated style of whiskey. Nearly killed off by Prohibition, rye has a decidedly frontier heritage that is still at the forefront of whiskey trends.
Under federal regulations, Bourbon must be at least 51 percent corn, while rye whiskey must contain at least 51 percent rye in the grain bill. Since both must be aged in new charred oak barrels, Old Potrero Hotaling's Single Malt Whiskey is technically not a rye because it is aged in ex-Bourbon barrels.
Fritz Maytag is the owner of Anchor Distilling, which produces Old Potrero. The distillery started in 1993 in the same San Francisco facility that turns out Anchor Steam Beer and Liberty Ale. “All of our whiskey is pot distilled. We wanted to create a radically valid whiskey going back to the roots of American distilling. At the time few people knew much about what it took to make a good whiskey.”
Old Potrero Hotaling's Single Malt Whiskey was first released in 2006 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the disastrous 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. One of the few businesses to survive was the Hotaling's warehouse and its 3,000 barrels of Old Kirk Whiskey. This whiskey is a gold color and has a sweet caramel nose. Smooth with hints of berries, toffee and oak in a pleasing drink that lingers.