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Fall: A Good Time To Be Thinking Whiskey

Over at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, we’re getting our first glimpse of next year’s crop of whiskey.


Small, green shoots of Risk™ malting barley are starting to poke through the soil at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon.
Small, green shoots of Risk™ malting barley are starting to poke through the soil at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon.

Calling it a whiskey crop may sound strange. Technically speaking, we seeded 100 acres of Risk™ malting barley a couple of weeks back and the shoots are just now emerging.

But when you consider how essential malting barley is to crafting good whiskey, then whiskey “crop” starts to make sense. At least that’s how we see things.

So… what happens next?

Before winter arrives, the shoots will grow two inches tall and fill in.
Before winter arrives, the shoots will grow two inches tall and fill in.

By the end of the month, our Risk™ malting barley will grow a couple of inches and spread across the field like a green carpet. But when winter arrives, it goes dormant.

A snow covered field of barley with a view of Mt. Hood.
A snow covered field of barley with a view of Mt. Hood.

If we’re lucky enough to have snow, not a guarantee during an El Niño, it will protect the small shoots from freezing temperatures and slowly replenish the soil with moisture. Without snow, we may lose some acres to winter kill. It’s all up to Mother Nature.

Growth resumes in the spring.

Risk™ malting barley field in spring.
Risk™ malting barley field in spring.

In a couple of minutes we’ve shown you only the beginning of how we grow whiskey. We have yet to harvest, floor malt, roast and mash the barley we grow at Rogue Farms. Plus, we have another 100 acres of Dare™ malting barley to plant next spring. This isn’t the most glamorous side of distilling, and one that most people don’t talk about. But ingredients are key to a good whiskey wash.

We do all of this ourselves – even though it’d be easier to buy the ingredients or let someone else mash it for us – because we believe that if you’re going to call something a Rogue Whiskey, then Rogues better be reaping, threshing, harrowing, raking, flipping, bagging and roasting the ingredients every step along the journey from Field To Mash.

In a couple of minutes we’ve shown you only the beginning of how we grow whiskey. We have yet to harvest, floor malt, roast and mash the barley we grow at Rogue Farms. Plus, we have another 100 acres of Dare™ malting barley to plant next spring. This isn’t the most glamorous side of distilling, and one that most people don’t talk about. But ingredients are key to a good whiskey wash.

We do all of this ourselves – even though it’d be easier to buy the ingredients or let someone else mash it for us – because we believe that if you’re going to call something a Rogue Whiskey, then Rogues better be reaping, threshing, harrowing, raking, flipping, bagging and roasting the ingredients every step along the journey from Field To Mash.

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Grab a bottle and join us in the Rogue Spirits Revolution!

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