McClintock Distilling releases Husker–Maryland’s first-known, Bottled-in-Bond bourbon since Prohibition.
Frederick, MD (January 31, 2022) – McClintock Distilling is an award-winning, craft distillery located in Frederick County–the heart of some of Maryland’s finest production of spirits over the centuries. This legacy is preserved and carried on through the federal regulations required for making a Bottled-in-Bond whiskey.
To qualify, a spirit has to be the product of a single distillery, made by one distiller, in a single distillation season. It also has to be aged in a federally-bonded warehouse for at least 4 years, and be bottled at 100 proof (50% alcohol by volume). These criteria remain unchanged today.
McClintock Distilling was already primed and ready to meet these specific requirements, because those guidelines have been essential to their mission and values since the beginning. When Husker was originally barreled, it was crafted to be a historically-inspired bourbon. But when co-owners Braeden Bumpers and Tyler Hegamyer tasted it at the two-year mark, they realized they had something special, and decided to make it their Bottled-in-Bond debut.
“Because we’re a micro distillery, we can discover and identify small variations in each batch that can become something beautiful and unique in the bottle,” Bumpers said. “And when we find that special stuff, we like to highlight it.” Their attention to every detail of the whiskey-making process allows them to catch lightning-in-a-bottle moments like Husker, as well as produce high-quality whiskeys, gin, vodka, and cordials that use organic, non-GMO ingredients from family-owned, local farms.
Before Prohibition, this kind of quality whiskey was hard to come by, particularly in Maryland. The state has a nuanced history between distillers and rectifiers–secondary parties who would purchase spirits from distillers and cut it with their own ingredients, such as fruit juice, turpentine, formaldehyde, or other undesirable liquids. Because of this tampering, the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 was passed as the first federal consumer protection act in the U.S. to provide a standard for quality, authentic whiskey. Before there was the FDA or USDA, there was Bottled-in-Bond.
Since Prohibition, the whiskey industry has changed considerably. Bottled-in-Bond whiskey is sometimes hard to find, but is rising in popularity as consumers are becoming interested in the historical significance and want to feel confident in their whiskey selections. McClintock is stepping into the gap between Maryland’s history of distilling and this modern-day appreciation for quality and innovation.
McClintock’s Husker also showcases Maryland heritage through its ingredients. “If we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it authentically,” Bumpers commented. “We put together a historically-accurate mash bill for a malted barley finished bourbon.” McClintock works directly with local farmers to grow the corn, rye, and wheat, and every step of the process is done at the distillery: milling, mashing, fermenting, distilling, and bottling.
To create Husker’s unique profile, the McClintock team combined old-world ingredients with cutting-edge technology and put them into one bottle, selecting the best of both worlds. Husker’s mash bill is 51% yellow king corn (an heirloom variety local to Maryland), 40% red fife wheat, and 9% chocolate-malted barley and rye. According to Bumpers, it was likely historically common for Maryland whiskeys to have a multi-ingredient mash bill. By using local grains and malting the barley with cacao nibs rather than the typical peat or wood, Husker honors past Maryland traditions while showcasing new styles and flavors of distilling.
In addition to the thoughtfully-crafted mash bill, Husker gets its name from the distillery’s namesake, McClintock Young. Young was an inventor in Frederick County in the mid-1800s, and one of his hundreds of inventions was the automatic cornhusker. Bumpers remarked, “It’s special to be part of bringing back a lot of that [distilling] history, and being the first to do it, along with honoring the work of a relatively unknown, but influential, member of Frederick County’s history.” Young’s process of taking the best elements of old machines to create innovative inventions speaks to the heart of McClintock Distilling, offering the perfect namesake.
McClinktock will be releasing Husker to the public at noon on Saturday, March 4th. In addition to purchasing the new release, guests can sample the full McClintock lineup, tour the distillery, and relax with cocktail specials at their speakeasy-style Back Bar located next door.
McClintock Distilling is an award-winning, craft distillery located in Frederick, Maryland. They have been named Best Craft Vodka Distillery and one of the Top 10 Best Gin Distilleries by USA Today, and have won over 75 awards and medals at international competitions. At their facility, they proudly produce organically-certified spirits using sustainable and environmentally-conscious practices, and source local, heirloom grains from family-owned, Maryland farms.
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