American malted whiskeys — most of them single malts — are popping up, some to loud acclaim. In a sign of just how far American whiskey has come, last month a single-malt whiskey from the Balcones Distillery
in Waco, TX, beat nine others, including Scottish brands like the Balvenie and the Macallan, in a blind panel of British spirits experts. It was the first time an American whiskey won the Best in Glass
, a five-year-old competition to find the best whiskey released in a given year.
An article in the New York Times notes that malt whiskey is a major trend around the world, and the U.S. is poised to be a major player. While corn and rye may be the traditional American whiskey grains, most of today’s craft distillers come from a brewing background, in which working with malted barley is the core of the business.
In some ways, American craft distilling is following the same path set by wine making and craft brewing. What started with a close adherence to Old World styles — Bordeaux, Vienna lager — gave way in time to new categories like California cabernets and American Pale Ale. And it’s that relentless creativity, as much as the quality, that is winning worldwide adherents for American single malts.
Read the full article here.
Last modified: 01/17/2013