Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Almost time to Harvest our Whiskey!

Risk Barley at our farn in Tygh Valley

The GYO Certified Barley we grow for our whiskey is reaching optimal plump and protein and we just watered it for the last time this season. It will dry in the sun, and be ready for harvest in about two weeks. Our barley farm is located in Oregon's Tygh Valley Appellation, in the rain shadow of Mt. Hood.  We grow two types of barley, DareTM and RiskTM, in addition to other crops at the farm.  “Risk” barley is a winter variety, and just one of three ingredients used to create our Chatoe Rogue Oregon Single Malt Whiskey (the other two being yeast and free range coastal water). 

    After we harvest, we will micro-malt our own barley and send it to our brewery, where the Rogue brewers  mill it, smoke it over local alderwood and then brew into a whiskey mash. We move the mash from the brewery to the distillery, ferment it in small totes and then distill it on our double-column copper pot still Tracy at House of Spirits. The whiskey is distilled just one time to preserve the flavor of the barley and let the terroir of the Tygh Valley shine through.  The whiskey is then put in Oregon White Oak barrels and ocean aged on the Yaquina Bay for 6 fortnights.

        The farm has been beautiful this spring.  You can see some photos on our Barley Farm Almanac page.  I plan to get out to the farm just before harvest, so we can enjoy the site of our whiskey in it’s rawest form. Look for more photos to come!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hazelnut Harvest and Gold Medals for Rogue Rum

Our Hazelnuts are being harvested this month from Kirk Family Farms which neighbors Rogue’s hopyard in Independence, OR. The hazelnuts are toasted, and added to the still to infuse the rum during distillation. The picture above is of the beautiful hazelnut orchard.  The sight is a common one in Oregon’s Willamette Valley which produces 99.9% of the Hazelnuts in the United States.

We were thrilled to receive the news that John’s Hazelnut Spiced Rum AND our Dark Rum made form 100% Hawaiian Cane Sugar both received gold medals at this year’s Ministry of Rum Competition.

Below are the full results, which can also be viewed at: www.minstryofrum.com
Flavored Rum - Bronze Medal
Cruzan Strawberry
Flavored Rum - Silver Medal
Cruzan 9
Black Beard Spiced Rum
Flavored Rum - Gold Medal
Cypress Creek Reserve Vanilla Rum

White Rum - Bronze
Cypress Creek Reserve Rum
White Rum - Silver
Don Q Cristal
Far North Queensland Rum Co. Platinum
White Rum - Gold
Santa Teresa Ron Claro
Havana Club Añejo 3 Años
Montanya Platino
Diplomático Rum Blanco

Dark Rum - Bronze
Montanya Oro
Dark Rum - Silver
Don Q Añejo
Cockspur Fine Rum
Flor de Caña 4 year old Gold Rum
Dark Rum - Gold
Barceló Añejo

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Last Wednesday, I was lucky enough to take a trip to our Tygh Valley Micro Barley Farm to see this year's winter barley being harvested that we use in our Oregon Single Malt Whiskey and our Chatoe Rogue Series Ales, Porters, Stouts and Lagers.
I took a bottle of Oregon Single Malt Whiskey, which is made from the exact barley we were standing in as a gift for the crew. It was incredible to watch the harvest of the single malt that will become next year’s whiskey.  

Our barley farm is managed by Doc McCallister, and the barley was harvested this year by the Ashbrook family, Stan and his two daughters Deanna and Andrea. The other two men in this picture were the truck drivers who wait while Deanna and Andrea fill up the trucks, and then they drive the barley to the west side of the mountains where it is malted. It was my first time on a barley farm, and they let me ride in the combine Andrea was driving.

 Doc McCallister told me a bit about the differences between growing malting barley for whiskey and beer and the other less finicky types, and Stan showed me how they test the barley for quality.
In addition to tagging along for the barley harvest, Doc McCallister showed me the rest to the Rogue ranch including our floor malting facility, and the spring barley.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rogue Spirits President in Moden Distillery Age

Modern Distillery Age is one of the best newsletters for spirits industry news. It is produced by long time beverage writer, Gregg Glaser. Check out the good news from this week's issue. Too subscribe visit: http://www.distilleryage.com/