Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Cross Pollinated Rye Whiskeys from Shmidt Spirits

While driving through my old college quarters I noticed a new distillery in the area, Shmidt Spirits -- located just north of College Park in Beltsville Maryland.  The venture was started by two fellow Terp graduates Arthur Shmidt (President) and Brian Roan (Master Distiller), with Brian available on my visit to discuss the distillery.  They chose Beltsville after not being able to find a suitable location closer to the University and here they distill unique and innovative spirits.

Currently, they offer three spirits, all finished in a cross-pollinating wine or spirits cask. Their Viridian Gin is infused with oranges and lavender with a non-toxic dose of juniper and then finished in a rye whiskey cask. The result is a smooth and approachable gin - flavorful and not overbearing. The Silver Rye Whiskey contains 15% winter wheat in the mash which helps soften the sharp rye. The whiskey is aged for four days in a charred oak barrel and then finished in a chardonnay cask for three days -- further mellowing the spirit to almost zero burn. Expect an oaked chardonnay character -- green apples and butter -- which merge seamlessly with the smooth rye flavor. Their final offering is the Cobalt Rye Whiskey contains the same mash bill as the Silver but is finished in a cask that once housed rum agricole. It is very smooth, almost too lenient on the rye for those who expect a little jolt from rye.  If you find yourself in the College Park area, theCompass Craft Beverage Finder will guide you to this highly recommended establishment. Cheers.

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