Vikre Distillery is set to release their second batch of Sugarbush Whiskey. The spirit, predominantly corn-based, and aged in port casks and bourbon barrels that once held maple syrup, had its first batch released last November.
On Friday, April 1st, Vikre will open at 2pm, and bottles will be sold until 10pm that evening, with individuals allowed one 375ml bottle per person/per day. Sugarbush will also be sold at select retailers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and Vikre will update their blog with a list of said retailers when that information is available.
Sugarbush will also grace the menu in their cocktail room, for as long as it lasts. And based on the way Lot No. 1 sold out, that could happen quickly.
We asked Emily Vikre for a few more details:
Growler: Tell us a little about Sugarbush Whiskey Lot 2. How does it differ from the first release?
Emily Vikre: We’re following the same process for each batch of Sugarbush to keep the flavor consistent overall. That said, because they’re small batches, and made by hand, and whiskey is influenced by everything from the weather to how saturated the barrel was, to who was making the cuts that day, there will certainly be some variability in the flavor between batches. I think this batch of Sugarbush has a slightly more pronounced wine and cherry flavor from the port barrels, and is a little bit richer because we’ve slightly modified how we’re making the cuts to capture a late part of the run called “the sweet water.”
Growler: What were you looking for in the spirit that you found when you deemed it ready to go?
Emily Vikre: We taste lots of the whiskey on an ongoing basis to track their maturation process. What I’m looking for … a certain harmonizing and softening of the flavors. The whiskey starts our really harsh and young and funky—the various barrel flavors each stick out and don’t blend together at all. Then at a certain point, a bunch of the really nasty flavors dissipate and the flavors meld together. There’s also a bit of an intuitive feeling to it when you taste it that I can’t explain, probably because I’m still learning it!
Growler: What kinds of cocktails does this version of Sugarbush lend itself to?
Emily Vikre: Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, Whiskey and Tonic (equal parts whiskey and tonic with a squeeze of lemon, a good cocktail cherry plus a little of the cherry juice, and several ice cubes!)