Amanda dips a cautious toe into the world of spirits this week with Wiggly Bridge Distillery. And no, there aren’t ghosts and seances being held in Wiggly Bridge’s barn – just drinking expertly distilled whiskey, bourbon, and gin. Also, why does so much drinking happen in barns? Before we dive into comparing brewing and distilling here’s a quick run down of the four guests on the episode from Wiggly Bridge:
Kevin McGann- Brand Ambassador
David Woods – Founder
Ashley Hamilton – Lead Mixologist
Amanda Woods – Marketing Diva (everyone needs one of these)
Everyone loved the beer blending episode (Entry 079) with Kevin. So, Amanda has donned her proton pack ready to catch some spirits. She ain’t afraid of no ghosts.
What’re They Sipping?
White Whiskey – this drink comes with a two sip instruction manual: 1st sip should be small. Roll the spirit around your tongue to extract water from your mouth. It feels prickly. The 2nd sip brings out all the flavors. (Way to go Amanda, now your mouth is haunted). This spirit makes a great Bloody Mary – see, and you thought the ghost references were out of place!
Small Barrel Bourbon – in order to be classified as bourbon the spirit has to be aged in a white oak american barrel. These barrels are charred on the inside and have 4 different levels of char. As the spirit moves through the char it absorbs certain characteristics (and your soul).
Hot & Dirty Distilling
While the brewing process is notorious for the level of cleanliness involved, distilling can be a little different. Sometimes you want certain creepy crawlies scooting around in the wood the spirit is aged in to enhance certain flavor profiles. Wiggly Bridge’s cypress fermenters do just this.
Distilling barrels are permeable. This allows them to oxidate the spirit within. So the atmosphere outside the barrel is very important. Wiggly Bridge dug out their root cellar and when it rains the air down there becomes super earthy. That earthy tone infuses with the aging spirits.
Warning: do not build a distillery on an ancient burial mound unless you want to infuse your spirits with the nasty notes of a Poltergeist.
Beer and Distilling (Compare & Contrast)
Amanda loves to highlight the community around craft beer. You know, all the intersections of beer and art and music. The passion involved is incredible. This same spirit (ha) is shared by distilleries. The goal at Wiggly Bridge is to make sure everyone is wowed. Your expectations shouldn’t be met, but blasted with a cross-streamed proton gun blast – so to speak.