At Rogue Ales & Spirits, our head distiller Jake Holshue, Level 10 Spirits Wizard, knows a thing or two about distilling. He’s always hard at work perfecting our award-winning spirits, but he’s also tasked with looking beyond current trends to discover what’s next.
In Jake’s workshop at the back of the distillery you’ll find a series of shelves containing hundreds of jars, which he calls “The Shelf of Misfit Distillate.” The contents of these jars range from quality checks on our current products to experimental new product ideas to some pretty bizarre combinations that may never be distilled again.
From curry flavored whiskey to chantrelle mushroom spirit, there have been quite a few of these experiments meant to stretch the limits beyond our current spirit’s lineup. At Rogue, we are certainly not afraid to try new things. If you’re not testing new ideas, you might miss the next great flavor, like Chipotle Whiskey or Voodoo Bacon Maple Vodka.
As Jake says, “Can’t hit a home run unless you swing at a few wild pitches”.
In fact, the distillery just installed a brand new still named Tina to help facilitate Jake’s research and development with small test batches. A 4 plate, hybrid column system, it was designed to replicate our 500 gallon Vendome still. This new still allows us to make small batch spirits and get samples to our tasting panels for quick feedback or up to our lab for testing.
For every new spirit that Rogue releases, there’s at least half a dozen small batch versions created first. Once we get it just where we want it, we scale up the recipe and share it with the world.