We start with a unique blend of barley oats and rye. ‘Unique’ is a very overused word and has about as much meaning as ‘natural’ and ‘real ingredients’. Trust us that our ingredients aren’t make believe. Most whiskeys have at least one ingredient that is 50% or more of the total grains. Ours does not. Perhaps we should use the word ‘seldom used blend’ but that doesn’t exactly mean what we want to say either. So how about a ‘rare blend’ because it’s rare that you would find another whiskey with a similar mash bill.
We use an old-style pot still for our whiskey. The fewer times a whiskey is distilled the more esters and flavors remain in the whiskey. This is how we like it. ‘Better’ is a matter of opinion but we think it leaves a richer, complex flavor that column stills do not.
Next we age our whiskey in a solera system. Most whiskies are aged in barrels and blended before bottling to maintain a consistent flavor profile for the product. Some Kentucky distilleries blend over 200 barrels at once to get the exact same flavor in each bottle. That’s more whiskey than we produce in a year! Instead, we use an Old World method common in spanish wineries where you transfer a portion of each barrel to another barrel over time. This blending allows us to produce a consistent product but still have variation over time similar to wines.
Finally, our whiskey goes through the minimal amount of filtering to remove only the solids from the barrel. Unlike the “chill filtering” process used by many large distilleries, our minimal filtering does not remove the esters and oils that we believe to be crucial in providing a richer, more complex spirit.
The thing that really sets our whiskey apart from others is the Smoked Apple aspect. Whereas smokey notes in whiskey are usually derived from the smoking of the grain itself or the charring of the barrel, ours is a direct result of the addition of smoked apples. For this we set aside some of our whiskey destined for barrels and re-distill it over smoked apples. A small portion of this then gets blended with our base whiskey. While most flavored whiskies are made from a variety of chemical compounds and added sugar, ours is solely derived from freshly cored apples, hardwood smoke and time. We feel this gives us greater control over the flavor of our whiskey from batch to batch and creates another dimension of flavor to savor and experience.
You are now an expert on Dear Johnny and all the components of whiskey that make it ‘One-Of-A-Kind’ in your whiskey collection!