Friday, November 10, 2017

BlueDyer Distilling: Distilled and Bottled in Waldorf Maryland

"Distilled and Bottled in Waldorf Maryland" is what you see on each bottle of BlueDyer Distilling spirits as this two year old distillery is the southernmost in the Old Line State. And its an ideal stop along Route 301 for those visiting Virginia's Northern Neck wine region.

The operation was founded by Ryan Vierheller and Walker Dunbar and pays homage to a family tradition of distilling as Ryan’s great-grandfather’s copper pot still is displayed behind the tasting bar. In fact, his family started farming, milling, and distilling in 1720 -- augmenting the production of blue dye from indigo. This occurred in southern Pennsylvania which makes one wonder if they were involved in the Whiskey Rebellion. And it was Ryan's grandfather, with the family now living in Stafford County Virginia, who taught Ryan the distilling process.

The current "BlueDyer" operation utilizing a 165-gallon hybrid re-flux still with three bubble caps and stresses quality at fair prices. Very fair prices. The current lineup includes their signature rum, a heavily corn based whiskey, and two gins.  And as always, you can find this distillery using theCompass Craft Beverage Finder. Cheer.

Original Gold Rum ($24, 80 Proof)
BlueDyer's flagship spirit and based on a family recipe. This rum is made from molasses and pure cane sugar, distilled four times, and finished in high charred oak barrels from Minnesota. This short aging process allows the oak to round out the flavors and dampen the alcohol without overshadowing the sweet profile. It is medium bodied, extremely smooth, with hints of honey. Tasty and a bargain at this price.

BlueDyer Bourbon Mash Whiskey ($35, 80 Proof)
This whiskey is composed of a bourbon mash of 80% corn, 7% rye grain, and 13% malted barley; distilled four times; and aged in charred oak casks with cherry wood used as a finishing flavor. Another medium bodied spirit without major oak influences, the sweet corn profile is prevalent followed by the mellowing influence of the barley and a little spice from the rye. Clearly more flavor than 100% corn moonshine and should be a preferred cocktail base for bartenders.

BlueDyer Gin ($26, 80 Proof)
This grain based gin meets my preferred flavor profile - as little juniper as legally possible with a broader amount of citrus botanicals. I enjoy this neat as the citrus provides a clearly superior taste over a traditional vodka and lime. I think I'm returning to gin. Nicely done.
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