From the Distiller...Reading Ratings

I recently read an article on Scotchwhiskey.com where the author was concerned about the apparent focus these days on the numerical value of a review of a particular product, and nothing else. He saw a lot of this in peoples use of wine ratings and expressed a concern over this taking over in whiskey too. The article made me think about how I personally have been using wine and spirit ratings and had I been guilty of focusing on the numerical score. The authors point was the score is often merely a reflection of whether the rater/judge liked it and doesn’t necessarily tell the consumer much useful information...

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From the Distiller...We've got class(es)!

Now that we are several years into making whiskey, this means we have lots of whiskey at all kinds of different ages, in different woods, etc., creating the opportunity for us to host some very interesting tastings. This means school will be open soon! We are still finalizing the syllabi and prices for our classes, but here is a rough outline of the classes we are hoping to offer. We are still debating whether to run the classes on Tuesdays, so it can be run in the tasting room or do the classes in the production area on a Thursday or Saturday evening. Let us know which classes you are interested in and what night you would prefer, and we’ll get them scheduled. If you have a group….birthday, corporate event, bachelor party, etc…that would like to set up a private class, please contact us at info@bigspringspirits.com

Click on Read More for our class descriptions and your chance to vote for the most interesting class.

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From the Distiller...These Whiskeys are Changin'

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I was in New York city (finally got to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade) and took advantage of the timing to do a whiskey tasting at the Brandy Library, located in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. About once a week they offer classes on a variety of spirits, usually barrel-aged, and I happened to be in town for a class on “Old” vs “New” whiskey. It was an educational and enjoyable time. The “old” wasn’t well-aged stuff--it was three bottles of old brands that are now defunct that they had purchased at auction, and they were not high-end spirits, even when the stuff was actually on the market, so they were $10-15 bottles then, around 20 years ago. We compared these with similar bottles that are currently available – all with the word “Old” in the name. The goal of this tasting was to compare where whiskey was 20-30 years ago with where whiskey is today...

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From the Distiller...Pipelines

We’ve finally gotten to the point where we have enough aged whiskeys to have a somewhat steady stream of products, so what’s coming up?  We just finished bottling our second batch of straight rye.  This is a little older than the first release and has a bit more of a cinnamon note to it.  Remember, every barrel has its own unique character.  Next up is the second bottling of our 100% wheat whiskey.  We will be dumping a barrel or two this week depending on how the ones we choose to sample from the taste.  The first batch was a special product that was done for the PSU Masters in Business Administration students and was just one year old...

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From the Distiller...What's in the Pipeline

Port wine – empty port wine barrels that is. (Actually, they should be called empty dessert-wine barrels, since technically only fortified wines made in Portugal can be labeled as “Port”). My wife and I went to a wine dinner in Philly last month at Panorama restaurant that featured one of our favorite California wineries – Biale (we belong to their wine club). It was lovely, and one of the founders of the winery (Dave Pramuk) was there leading us through the wines of the evening.  At the end of the meal, I got to chat for a bit with Dave, and apparently, his grandfather was from Shamokin, PA and had dabbled in whiskey at one point in his life, so we bounced back and forth between talking about whiskey and wine...

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