I saw on bourbonblog.com that Heaven Hill of Bardstown, Kentucky, has announced that it will now start selling “white dog” straight from the still. This is 125 proof (!) whiskey that is not aged at all.
According to the Heaven Hill website: “The new Trybox Series, named after the copper and glass “tasting station” where new make whiskey flows off the still, offers up several styles of Heaven Hill’s world famous American Whiskeys. Each is taken straight off the still, before aging in a charred oak barrel–the same way legendary father and son Master Distillers Parker and Craig Beam taste-test them. The first two releases in the series, available at retail starting in May, will be New Make, which if barrel aged would become a Straight Bourbon such as Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage; and Rye New Make, which if aged would become Rittenhouse Straight Rye.”
This is part of the sudden interest in unoaked whiskey. This is evidently part of a recent movement to get away from the taste imparted by the aging process — long thought to be a positive thing — and to get to the raw whiskey. Some bars (most likely hipster bars) are using this white lightning in order to make new cocktails that don’t have the flavors of ordinary whiskeys. I personally am not too sure why they don’t just use vodka (or white rum) as it will be smooth without the headache-inducing chemicals that are usually removed by the additional distilation (vodka) charcoal filtering (Tennessee whiskey) or aging process (bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey), but where there is a market there is a product. This is ironic in a way as it usually takes a distillery four years or more to bring a new product to the market. Here, instead of incurring the extra cost of buying barrels and managing the product for years, they just bottle it and sell it. That is a sure way to make some profit.
Anyway, if you are interested, it is called the “Trybox Series.” It will be available in a 750ml bottle size, packaged three to a case, and bottled at the full traditional barrel entry proof of 125, or 62.5% alcohol/volume. The suggested national average retail price will be $24.99,
The next thing you know, the Scots will start shipping over clear distillate to meet the new market. That would be a crime indeed.