Deliciously Old School Distilling

by | Oct 22, 2006

New York Times Magazine today looks at the resurgence of moonshining, or do-it-yourself distilling. The article touches on Frtiz Maytag’s interest in distilling. Of course, Maytag and his company Anchor Brewing are not distilling outside of the law like true DIYers making hooch at home. But he does have an interesting line of micro-distilled spirits for sale.

San Francisco Chronicle looked at Anchor’s “side business” in 2004:

Anchor Distilling Co. released its first bottling of Old Potrero Single Malt Rye Whiskey in 1996. The micro-distillery makes 18th- and 19th-century- style rye whiskeys in small, single-pot batches.

The 18th-century-style whiskey is aged in new uncharred oak barrels for one year. The brash, highly aromatic whiskey is Maytag’s attempt to reproduce the original whiskeys of America, the kind that George Washington reportedly made. America’s first whiskeys were made with rye, a plentiful grain on the East Coast. Corn-based bourbon came later. The 19th-century-style rye whiskey is a bit mellower and aged for three years in charred oak barrels, an innovation that helped mellow its flavor.

“We’re starting a rye whiskey revival,” he says.

The distillery also makes a fine gin called Junipero. There are plans to release grappa, too.