Missouri whiskey continues to capture my interest, and in 2018 I plan on giving the men and women who make it more of my attention.
That said, 2018 is already off to a great start for St. Louis’ own Still 630. Distiller David Weglarz has an aggressive plan for the year after a successful 2017.
Even with all that, what Weglarz is most proud of is his Experimental Spirits Program. The five-year odyssey began on the first Friday in July and seeks to develop the greatest craft spirits possible.”We are exactly six months in so far and X-7 (100% Mesquite smoked Malt Barley) was released on the First Friday in January. The next release, X-8 is a special whiskey and one that could make the perfect Valentine’s gift – Chocolate RallyPoint.
I got the chance to ask Weglarz about this new whiskey, which is still in the barrel and won’t be bottled until the week of the release, which will be Friday, February 2.
I’ve been interested in using chocolate barley for a couple years. Which is a little misleading because it’s actually a different roast profile that the malthouse does on the normal two-row malted barley that elicits more chocolate-style roasty, malty cocoa nib notes. And our regular RallyPoint Rye Whiskey is 90% rye and 10% malt barley, so I thought it would be fun to just replace the regular malt with the chocolate malt and see what happens.
What do you expect the nose on this whiskey to be?
Roasty malt with hints of rye spice and toasted oak.
There’s a subtle sweetness to it. Almost semi-sweet chocolate nibs layered on top of roasted RallyPoint rye whiskey (the typical smooth taste you expect from RallyPoint: rye-spice, vanilla oak notes with cereal barely flavor lingering in the background). Again, the chocolate roasted barley gives it a slight roasty/malty flavor that rounds out the chocolate-y sweetness. It’s a fun riff on classic RallyPoint.
What would be the perfect situational for someone to crack open and have a pour of this?
Obviously on Valentine’s Day! But I think this whiskey would be fun for any cold night, curled up on the couch in front of a roaring fire with someone special.
What are you most proud of about this whiskey?
I think this particular whiskey is a great example of the versatility roasting brings to well-known grains. It took some extra aging (compared to our normal whiskeys) to get it to achieve the right balance and have the chocolate note be strongly present without being overwhelming. And I think it’s just a fun riff on our flagship RallyPoint. We’ve done different finishes on our rye before, but never tweaked the recipe like this.
How are your Experimental Spirits debuted?
We sell all of our Experimental Spirits only at our First Friday events. They are all consistent in 200ml bottles and 100 Proof. The point is for people to differentiate between the flavors themselves rather than different proof levels.