Whiskey is a distilled spirit that's made from fermented grain mash -- usually cereal grains like rye, barley malt, wheat and corn. It undergoes aging in wooden containers, most often oak.
Grain and water are mashed to release the starch from the grain, which is converted into sugars during fermentation. Distillers add yeast to the mash, turning the sugars into alcohol.
The whiskey is distilled twice or three times to further refine its flavor and color. It then goes through a second aging process, usually in new oak barrels.
Roknar is a rye whiskey produced by Far North Spirits, a "field to glass" distillery in Hallock, Minnesota near the Canadian border. It's crafted with non-GMO AC Hazlet Winter Rye and non-GMO Minnesota 13 Heirloom Corn planted and harvested by head distiller Michael Swanson on his family's century-old farm.
This rye is produced in small batches on-site and is proofed upon bottling. It spends nearly two years in charred oak barrels before being finished in Cognac casks.
The nose is full of sweet corn and a nice array of grain-forward rye spices. Clove, cinnamon, and star anise dominate, but a bit of brown sugar and paint thinner also pop up here and there. The palate is smooth and lingers with a touch of oak. It's a great first expression for this distillery and one that I look forward to seeing evolve over time.