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BARBER'S SINGLE MALT RYE WHISKEY

Barber's Single Malt Rye is a dense and unique whiskey with lasting flavors of malt sweetness, caramel, and clove.  There is a hint of pepper spice on the finish and a round, sour richness.  Made in very small batches, it is sure to please any fans of finely crafted American whiskey.

Mike Barber might be a wine obsessed California boy, but his family is from the south, and they instilled in him a deep love for American whiskey.  It was always a dream of the Barber's to start making whiskey alongside their wines.  However, distilling is a very difficult endeavor - a permit and logistics nightmare of low yields and tight legal restrictions.  With the help of a local Sonoma brewer and Sonoma distiller, and many of their friends, their dream has finally come true.

Inspired by the current California rye renaissance, Mike knew Barber Cellars should be devoted to crafting an outstanding rye whiskey.  While most ryes on the market pull from the vast barrel stocks of the same four distillers in Kentucky, Indiana, and Canada, many brands in California (Old Potrero, Corbin Cash, Old World Spirits, Sonoma Distilling Co., etc...) make their own rye whiskey from scratch - developing their own mash bill/wash, and distilling and aging their product themselves.  After an insane amount of research and test batches, Mike developed his own mash bill and recipe for one of the most expressive, delicious, and unique ryes on the market and one of the only single malt ryes in America.

What is a 'single malt rye whiskey' and why don't you see more of them?  It's a very difficult whiskey to make.  Basically, any whiskey is distilled from a beer: that is, an alcoholic drink made from grains and water.  The starches of the grains are converted to sugar, the sugar is fermented to alcohol, and then the alcohol of this 'beer' is distilled into spirit.  The term 'single malt' means that it is a whiskey made from a single malted grain from a single distillery.  Most people are familiar with the term for scotch single malts- which are made from 100% malted barley.  By law, any whiskey labeled as 'rye' whiskey has to be made from a mashbill of at least 51% rye grains and the rest can be any combination of corn, barley, wheat, or whatever.  Most people who make rye whiskey will use unmalted rye grains and mix in their own eznymes to convert starches to sugars (to make the fermentable beer mash) or pitch in some malted barley to get this process going.  By doing this, a whiskey producer can avoid the thick, sticky mess that malted rye creates.  Malted barley is far less troublesome and labor intensive than malted rye.

But the Barbers do everything the hard way.  Their whiskey is 100% malted rye made painstakingly by hand.  Through sweat, toil, trial, and error, Mike developed an entirely singular and backbreaking system of mashing, fermenting, and sparging the sticky, hot, unworkable mess that is a malted rye mash. The result is a spirit that is a rich and spicy one-of-a-kind American whiskey experience.  Its origin lies in our shared heritage: many American whiskies 200 years ago, even the ones made by George Washington himself, were 100% rye.  Like these whiskies, Barber's rye is double distilled in a copper pot still.  The aging regimen is more modern: the whiskey is aged in new, heavy char American Oak casks to add a dark richness and vanilla to the finished product.