Young and Hungry

There’s a Barrel of Difference Between Founding Farmers and Wasmund’s Whiskies

whisky imagesLast week, having found bliss in a bottle of Founding Farmers Rye Whisky, I decided to compare the label on this custom-made spirit to the one on Wasmund's Rye Spirit, since the latter's distillery produces both whiskies. I found no discernable differences between the labels. 

Late last week, while still waiting for Founding Farmers’ chief mixologist Jon Arroyo to return my call, I got an e-mail from Jennifer Motruk Loy, director of marketing and PR for Founding Farmers and sister restaurant, Farmers & Fishers.

She explained the difference between the two bottles. It comes down to, as I suspected in the original blog post, barrel aging. Or a lack of it:

[T]he Wasmund’s Rye Spirit is a, clear spirit (see the photo below) taken directly from a still and NOT aged in wooden barrels. Without the aging process, there is no time for the liquid to absorb any of the natural colorations and flavorings of the apple wood / cherry wood / oak barrels. Founding Farmers’ Rye Whisky is the spirit that’s been aged for eight months in specially selected barrels that are ONLY used by Founding Farmers for our bottles – Wasmund’s doesn’t use our barrels (only provides them) for his separate batches of Rye Whisky.

I believe a taste test is now in order. Yes, I really do. Particularly because the picture that the PR director included [see above] compares two different kinds of spirits: Wasmund's Single Malt Spirit vs. Founding Farmers Rye Whisky. Here's a real picture of Wasmund's rye. Yes, it's clear.

  • Sweth

    Rye Spirit isn't the same as Rye Whiskey; rye whiskey in the US *by definition* is aged in new oak barrels, or else it can't be called rye whiskey. From Wasmund's website, it looks like their schtick is to sell unaged spirits as well as barrels, so that consumers can age their spirits to turn them into whiskeys on their own. So your taste test will be very disappointing, kind of like comparing grape juice and wine--one is a raw product, and the other is a finished one.