The Rig Hand Craft Distillery (formerly Big Rig Distillery) opened their doors on October 17, 2015 and they already have an impressive line-up of spirits for sale at their boutique store within the facility. These spirits include their Premium Vodka and Wildrose Gin; their selections of White Dog Distillate (not whisky for three years yet); and as well as their intriguing Sugar Beet Brum. Additionally, they have been experimenting with an array of flavoured Vodkas some of which are bottled and ready for sale, and others which are in development. (I took a tour of the craft distillery last year and have slowly been working through the samples they gave me.)
The distillery’s White Dog Malted Barley Distillate is produced from 100 % Alberta grown Malted Barley distilled upon the company’s main still (Mighty Morley). The malted barley distillate is distilled twice through the through short 4-plate column to produce a more flavourful spirit than if the 16 plate column had been used. After distillation the spirit is either filtered and reduced to bottling proof (51.4 % alcohol by volume for my sample) to be sold as White Dog Malted Barley Distillate, or it is placed in re-used oak casks to become whisky in three years. When sold as White Dog, the spirit arrives with a stick of oak which the consumer can place in the bottle to ‘flavour’ the spirit so as to glean at least a small understanding of how the spirit’s flavour profile will change do to the oak flavours permeating the whisky.
With my sample I decided to go a step further by placing my bottle of White Dog into a brand new charred 1 litre oak cask. I allowed it to sit for 6 weeks in an aging simulation. I thought it would be cool to share the results with my readers as a ‘Whisky in Progress Review’.
Here is a link to that full review:
“… I can taste the influence of the oak as light butterscotch and chocolate flavours now reside alongside oak and grain spice. The spirit is still developing yet I can already sip my glass and find enjoyment. Orange peel and banana and a light almond-like flavour have also joined in the parade …”
Please enjoy the review!