- On August 31, 2016
Since the change in law that took the cost to operate a distillery down to a fraction, tons of Minnesota distilleries have popped up and we have dozens of their products on our shelves. We are featuring them all this month for our 2nd Minnesota Spirits Sale. Most MN distilleries started with a gin and vodka, because they don’t require aging and can hit the shelves very quickly. However many are getting into the long game as well and are aging whiskeys in barrel for an extended period of time. Here’s a little run down on some of the whiskeys that have hit our shelves.
11 Wells is made at the old Hamm’s Brewery in St. Paul, owned and operated by Bob McManus. Their distillery has 11 wells on site, hence the name, one of which is their source of water. They created a white whiskey called Minnesota 13, made from a corn called Minnesota 13. The variety was developed by the U of M in 1888 to accommodate our shorter growing season. However, the corn found great use during prohibition as a base for moonshine. Learn more about the history here. Minnesota 13 will be on sale for $24.29 (reg $26.99) all September. Also check out their small batch rye and whiskey, with their transparent information right on the bottle. ($26.99, reg $29.99 for each)
Panther Distillery, named after owner Adrian Panther is Minnesota’s first distillery. They’re located in Oaskis, MN on a lake of the same name, not too far from Alexandria. Panther proudly sources local corn, wheat, and rye, which makes them a modern locavore distillery. Currently, they have a white whiskey, which they proudly age for “less than 30 seconds” as stated on their bottle. Their Pike Street Bourbon Whiskey is aged for 2 years in Minnesota oak, adding another layer to their locally- sourced products. You can find their white whiskey for $17.99 (reg $19.99), and their bourbon for $31.49 (reg $34.99) all month!
Isanti Spirits, owned and operated by Rick Schneider, has had a 2 year rye on the shelf for almost a year, but recently released their Sunken Bobber Bourbon. The first batch clocks in at 100 proof and is aged for about a year in 15 gallon barrels. Rick is aging a batch in 53 gallon barrels, looking to release it in 2021. You can try both his bourbon and rye, along with his gin, this Saturday from 4-7 pm. Rye on sale at $30.59 (reg $33.99), gin $22.49 (reg $24.99), Bourbon $35.09 (reg $38.99)
These are just a few of the whiskeys that have been available. Keep your eye out for new releases from Far North and Vikre. The Far North Roknar Rye, aged in cognac and sherry casks, was last released in mid-May and disappeared from shelves quickly. Another bottling might be coming this fall in time for Thanksgiving. Vikre produces a Sugarbush Whiskey which, like Roknar, has trouble staying on the shelf. Their whiskey never touches new oak, aged first in port casks, then in bourbon casks that were previously filled with maple syrup! Currently they have no release date, but Vikre also has two ryes, a bourbon, and an Iron Range Single Malt whiskey in the works!