JT Meleck is a new craft vodka out of Louisiana.
Founder Michael Frugé’s family has farmed the land where he is distilling vodka out of rice since 1896. Frugé’s great-great uncle, JT Meleck, first started farming on the property.
Today, the property includes a distillery surrounded by rotating crops, rice and crawfish fields.
In naming the vodka, Frugé thought it was appropriate to pay homage to his ancestor who originally settled the Louisiana marshland and led the way for four generations who have kept with tradition and brought in their own innovations, as well. In 1983, Frugé and his brother Mark Frugé began rotating the rice fields with crawfish, launching Frugé Aquafarms. The brothers are considered pioneers in crawfish farming, the company says.
“One day I was trying to think what we could do with the leftover rice we have some years and I began to wonder if we could make vodka from it,” says Frugé. “It turns out that not only can you make vodka, you can make great vodka from it.”
JT Meleck has acreamy, viscous mouthfeel, and sake-like rice flavors.
The JT Meleck label has a rice/crawfish-inspired label to highlight the family’s Louisiana roots — and to tell their story of family and a rice called Providence.
The suggested retail price of JT Meleck vodka is $21.99 per 750-ml. bottle.
Frugé is also aging whiskey onsite.