Grand Teton Distillery is celebrating its 10th anniversary by pulling out all the stops, as expected from a company that specializes in top-tier liquor production.
Earlier this summer they unveiled improvements to come to their facility, and are now rolling out a special release whiskey.
The Private Stock Corn Whiskey waited six and a half years to come out of the barrel, gaining proper flavor all the while. It is also the first whiskey ever distilled by GTD. It’s 100 proof, easily stronger than most whiskeys.
It was aged in American white oak barrels, which had been used previously to age GTD’s Colter’s Run Bourbon. Only nine barrels’ worth of whiskey will be released.
Of course, to get a premium spirit, one has to use premium ingredients.
“It’s 100%, Idaho corn, we’re so happy how it turned out,” said Vice President of Strategic Planning Andrew Boczar.
“We aged them the whole time in our bourbon barrels, that’s why it took so long, said Boczar.
He also spoke to the length of the process
“Normally when you have a whiskey, you put it in the barrel and 4 years later you’ll have it. This is like an 8-year process,” said Boczar.
The Private Stock Corn Whiskey was aging before Boczar was even employed at GTD.
“It came to be because when they put this in the barrel, I was not with the company,” said Boczar. “I came and I took an inventory of what whiskey they decided to make and age. We kind of had these orphan barrels, and it didn’t make sense to try to create a new line of it, because you can’t just put more down to age it.”
The Private Stock designation is a signifier of its rarity according to Boczar.
Corn is also an unusual material to make straight whiskey with, as wheat, rye, and barley are usually used. Corn is popular for making bourbon whiskey, but it has to be over 80% corn to be considered a straight corn whiskey.
“Most are just going to be a bourbon, but to be a corn whiskey it has to be over 80% corn. It also typically ages in a used barrel,” said Boczar. “Most of the corn whiskey that we make in this country is bourbon, but not this one.”
As far as the flavor and experience, the influence of corn is apparent throughout the Private Stock’s character.
“Corn, especially with the private stock that’s 100% corn, you get that sweet taste on it,” said Boczar. “The sweet smell, the syrup smell, when you taste it you get a spice like a cardamom or a clover. You get some of that oakiness and a lot of those other flavors from the wood that wasn’t present when it was just 100% corn. It melds with a little bit of that [Colter’s Run] bourbon.”
The private stock was released on Oct. 6, to favorable acclaim.
“Everyone really liked it when they tried it,” said Boczar. “Corn whiskeys are not something that’s made very often, it’s kind of rare in that sense.”
At the end of the day, Boczar was happy that the spirit’s uniqueness separated itself from the pack of other corn whiskeys.
“Most of the corn whiskey that we make in this country is bourbon, but definitely not this one,” he said.
The whiskey is sold for $79.95/750ML on their website, and is available for purchase at the distillery located north of Driggs. Grand Teton Distillery recommends serving the Private Stock neat.