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!