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The basis for this collaboration is a historical tradition where distillers would use spent yeast from nearby breweries to start their fermentations. For this special batch, we partnered with our neighbors at Draai Laag Brewing Company to produce a malt whiskey where the mash was fermented with their special “Wild Angels” yeast. The “Wild Angels” strain is a wild-type yeast native to Millvale. In order to use it for brewing, Draai Laag isolated the yeast strain and grew it into a viable microbial culture that could be maintained indefinitely. Of course, none of our products are complete without packaging. For this task, we chose local artist Terry Boyd who designed a custom embroidery to be featured on the front of each Malty Bære. By digitizing his hand drawn line art and using custom embroidery software to translate the 2D digital file into a complex, thread-based object via his sewing machine. The result is a complex and wild design featuring both structure and abstraction.
There are a few different elements which make Malty Bære stand out. First of all, this is the first whiskey we’ve ever done with a wild-type yeast. Normally we ferment our mashes with yeast that is cultured in a laboratory and is sent to us in sterile vacuum-sealed bags. The “Wild Angels” yeast was brought to us from Draai Laag in four 5gal buckets that were poured directly into the mash tun. We were impressed with how quickly the “Wild Angels” yeast was able to ferment the sugars in the mash. Our usual fermentation protocol allows for four days of fermentation, with “Wild Angels” yeast the fermentation stage took closer to six days. It seems like there must be something special going on in the Millvale air!
Malty Bære has also gone through more aging than any other products from our Brewer’s Series: the spirit was aged in new, toasted barrels for over two and a half years! Because the barrels were toasted instead of charred, the whiskey does not qualify as a “straight” whiskey. That being said, the time in the barrel affected the spirit in a beautiful way: it has given the spirit a light golden hue and helped to integrate the distinct flavor components.
The wild-type yeast is the main draw for this spirit, and it doesn’t disappoint. Malty Bære tastes unlike any other whiskey I have ever tasted. Bright tropical fruit flavors and a spice note (cinnamon/nutmeg) complement the biscuity and toffee qualities that are associated with malt whiskeys. In a snifter, it is rich and velvety with pleasantly floral finish.
46% ABV (92 Proof) - 375ml
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