How can you make so many spirits on one still? (Carl)
German hybrid stills are designed to make many different spirits. The spirit piping behind the pot reconfigures based on what we want to make that day. Our still is very versatile and made for flexibility, without compromising quality.
Do you really grow and malt all the grain you use?
Yes: Bently Ranch has 2,500 acres under cultivation, as well as enough silo capacity for two years’ worth of grain. The malting facility runs both auto and floor maltings, and was custom-built for the capacity of our distilleries.
What is “estate”?
In Nevada, “estate” is defined as a distillery that grows 85% of its raw materials on land that is owned by the distillery’s owner. There is no federal designation for estate for distilleries at the moment.
Are you a craft distillery?
No. While we grow, malt, mill, cook, mash, distill, age, blend, and bottle all of our own spirits, “Craft” is defined as a particular scale of production; we are built to exceed at some point.
How many barrels do you fill?
We aim to fill over 3,000 barrels per year, and are close to that now.
Are you bringing in neutral grain spirits or bourbon to subsidize the spirit production?
Do you need a reservation or be a tour attendee to sit at the bar?
No reservation is needed for the bar, but one is needed for tours.
Are children allowed?
Persons under the age of 21 are not allowed on tours or the bar areas. However, they are allowed on the first floor retail space where there are no open containers.
There is no approved analytical test for the presence of zero gluten in spirits. The only spirit we’re aware of that the TTB will allow “gluten free” on is corn spirit, as they’ve determined a zero gluten content in the grain itself. We haven’t sought the label, as the government is very vague at the moment on this topic.
When will the whiskies be ready?
We have begun distilling whiskies, but do not currently have a specific release date. Making great whiskies takes time and we’re going to release whiskies as they meet our quality and flavor profile standards.
Can you give any information on your bourbon?
We’re experimenting with bourbon, and plan to use heritage corn varieties. We’ve also settled on Earth Tones grain, but are testing at least twenty-five other varieties. We’re using standard American oak barrels with a #3 char for a good portion of the whisky to do a classic bourbon. We’ll be finishing in anything from port and sherry to red wine, our own liqueur barrels, cognac, or maybe even tequila barrels. It will be at least four years until we release any bourbon.
When I pour Juniper Grove American dry gin over ice, it turns milky. Why does this happen?
In the distilling world we call that “louching.” It is the result of oils from the botanicals coming out of the solution when the gin cools down. We’re looking at ways to filter some of the oils out to reduce the louche, but won’t do that if it reduces the bold flavors we love in the gin.
Why is the Source One rested in sherry oak casks such a dark color?
We use very small barrels that yield a high surface-to-volume ratio; this colors the spirit quickly. Meanwhile, the sherry that’s left inside the wood continues to oxidize and darken. The resting vodka takes on the color of the wine and pulls sherry out of the wood, giving it an intense color and flavor. The sherry itself is almost black when we pull samples of it from the barrel.