Rogue Ales & Spirits had their hands in every step of the process of this whiskey that was aged in Rolling Thunder barrels which had already aged Rogue's Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout.
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
We grew the ingredients, brewed the beer, distilled the whiskey and crafted the barrels.
Step one: The Barley
Since 2008, barley has grown on 200 acres of our farm in Tygh Valley, Oregon, in the shadow of Mt. Hood. We planted it in the spring, harvested it in the fall, malted it then brought it to our distillery in Newport, Oregon where our Head Distiller would turn it into whiskey.
Step two: The Barrel
In 2015, we brought World War II-era coopering equipment to our World Headquarters in Newport, Oregon and had our second longest-running employee, Nate Linquist apprentice with barrelmakers so he could craft barrels for us. Since then, Nate (and our newest cooper, Travis) have crafted roughly a barrel per day in Rolling Thunder Barrelworks next door to our Ocean Aging Room and Rogue Distillery.
Step three: The Beer
Once we had the barrelmaking craft down, we started aging our imperial stout, brewed with ingredients grown on our farm in Independence, Oregon, in them. First we'd soak them with Dead Guy Whiskey then we'd age the beer for nine months. We released the first Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout in 2016 and we've released a new iteration of it every year since.
Step four: The Whiskey
We started distilling in 2003 and have since earned 351 awards for our spirits. Today, we craft whiskey in a 550-gallon Vendome Still across the parking lot from our brewery. This whiskey starts as a wash brewed from the barley grown on Rogue Farms. We then carefully distill and age it in freshly crafted Rolling Thunder barrels from our cooperage.
Step five: Ocean Aging
The whiskey ages in that new barrel for one year before we drain it then age our Imperial Stout in that same barrel. Once the stout has finished aging, we return the whiskey to the barrel to soak in the stout and the oak for another two years. The barrel is safely kept in our Ocean Aging Room between the distillery and our cooperage -- less than two miles from the Pacific -- where it breathes in the ocean air.
Step six: Bottling
Once the whiskey is ready, we hand bottle it in our distillery and seal it with our custom-made topper adorned with our Rolling Thunder Barrelworks Brand.