We were recently asked “What’s planned for the summer of 2021 from Laws Whiskey House”? The answer is Centennial soft white wheat in the form of a delicious and fruity bonded whiskey. Yes, our summer seasonal Bonded Centennial Straight Wheat Whiskey is here again. At Laws, we pride ourselves in seeking out the distinct flavors of each American mother grain in our whiskies. These flavors start with heirloom wheat grown on a Colorado family farm which we complement with our traditional sour mash fermentation and distillation techniques. Together, this produces a bold distillate which we age in charred 53-gallon American oak vessels for an extended period. All aspects of this process are equally important and consistent with our “No Short Cuts” philosophy which results in a robust whiskey brimming with the flavors of this ancestral wheat grain.
Deconstructing our flagship Four Grain Straight Bourbon into single grain expressions is an ongoing initiative at Laws Whiskey House. This exploration of grain is central to discovering and mapping the essence of flavor in whiskey. All of our single grain whiskies are made with the same grain, the same technique and the same equipment. These whiskies are also aged in the same type of ISC barrels from Lebanon, Missouri that our complex Four Grain Bourbon rests in. Our first single grain whiskey was our award-winning San Luis Valley Straight Rye Whiskey. Our Centennial Straight Wheat is the next.
We have been working with wheat as a single grain expression since early in 2013. Jason Cody from the Cody Family Farm and Colorado Malting Company in the San Luis Valley provide all of our wheat. They describe the grain varietal Centennial Wheat as an heirloom soft spring white wheat in contrast to typical hard red wheat varietals used in most American whiskey. We find the Centennial to have an abundance of fruit and floral notes. Our first forays into pure wheat whiskey included a few small releases followed by two 4-year-old Bonded releases in Colorado. Each time we tweaked the batches primarily through how we selected barrels. Our Barrel Manger, James Kunz, will pick a couple sets of barrels with similar backbones and then rotate in more distinctive barrels creating a number of test expressions. These test batches are then evaluated by the production team with one batch ultimately chosen for release.
In our experience, age matters more for wheat-heavy whiskey. Even in bourbon, “wheaters” tend to take a little while longer to develop than high rye mash bills. One thing is for sure, this is a bolder grain than most realize and makes a complex, terroir heavy whiskey. Batch #3 of our Bonded Centennial Wheat Whiskey is our oldest release to date and made with a mash bill of 100% Centennial wheat. This mash bill combines both raw and malted wheat. Aged 5 years 8 months before being bottled at our Cherokee Street warehouse in Denver, CO. Batch #3 is comprised of 14 hand selected barrels produced at Laws Whiskey House in July/August of 2015. This year’s release is roughly 600 6-pack cases and will be available in limited quantities throughout our various markets across the US.
The glass is where this whiskey truly shines. Serve it straight up or in a summer cocktail. This whiskey is a big, bright, and flavorful expression of the grain it’s championing. A fruit salad of apple, citrus, strawberry and cantaloupe mesh quickly with the generous barrel attributes of vanilla, caramel, a complex mix of baking spices, bergamot and black tea. Its middle is warm and comforting like your Mom’s fresh bready cinnamon buns. The long finish is unequivocally orange. We like it best chilled over ice which elicits nostalgic flashbacks of enjoying an orange creamsicle with friends. This is the Laws Village favorite summer sipper.
At Laws Whiskey House, we believe that the soul of whiskey is comprised of the people who grow it, the people who make it, and the people who drink. And good whiskey, like a good story, is meant to be shared. We hope you enjoy this special whiskey as much as we do and thanks for coming along our journey.
Founder, Laws Whiskey House
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