After celebrating National Bourbon Day this weekend, the timing seems right to break some big news.
We just started barrel aging our first batch of Rogue Spirits Bourbon at our Distillery in the coastal town of Newport, Oregon.
Distiller John Wilcox personally poured every drop from pot to barrel.
It’s hard to believe that this journey began a year ago, when we planted five acres of Wigrich Corn at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.
The stalks grew quickly in the summer sun of the Willamette Valley and by late summer we couldn’t believe our luck. Thousands of big ears of corn bursting all over the place.
Then reality hit home. None of the professional harvesters wanted to combine our corn for us. They told us our field of corn was too puny to bother with. Rather than letting it rot, we picked it ourselves. 18,563 ears, all by hand.
Things weren’t about to get any easier. The machines we bought to shuck and shell the ears broke down. Once again, it was up to us to finish the job.
18,563 ears, all by hand.
So after a year filled with trials, tribulations and lots of hard work, this is a moment that’s hugely satisfying for us.
In the years ahead, Rogue Bourbon – made with the corn we grew, picked and shucked ourselves – will slowly breathe in the salt air of Yaquina Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Oak and bourbon begin their long, mysterious dance of aging and flavoring.
A week since pouring day, John is already pleased with how it tastes.
How much longer do we have to wait? That’s up to the oak and the bourbon. It’s not ready until John says it’s ready.
Meanwhile, this year’s crop of Wigrich Corn is looking good. And we’re ready to do whatever it takes it get it from the field to the distillery.