Gray Wolf® Rye Whiskey, the first whiskey and namesake of Maryland’s Gray Wolf® distilling company, is set for release on October 28th coinciding with a branding refresh, and timed as a celebration of the team’s four year anniversary.
The launch of this first batch is a momentous occasion for the distillery which began its whiskey program in 2016. Gray Wolf has been resolute in its dedication to handcrafting spirits from scratch using premium raw ingredients. This whiskey is no exception. Mashed and distilled from 60% rye and 40% malted barley, Gray Wolf Rye Whiskey has been solera aged in a progression of three casks. It begins its development in new charred North American oak barrels. Successive maturation evolves in port wine casks then finishes in Appalachian grown white oak vats. The process, though labor intensive, adds more complexity and depth to the final spirit, according to co-founder and distiller, R.B. Wolfensberger.
“I wanted to make a rye, and like with everything I make, I wanted to be creative. I wanted to make something exceptional. The solera process intrigued me. By transferring our whiskey into different vessels during the maturation period, remarkable notes can be achieved,” said Wolfensberger. The proof of this is evident with the signature peppery spice of the rye grain that is abundant yet balanced with the softness of the malt. Notes of maple cinnamon and vanilla commingle with a cherry undertone and hints of smoke.
The celebratory timing of this launch has extra significance for this up and coming distilling company. Budding upstarts, like Gray Wolf, have been more vulnerable to the tumult of 2020 than their more established peers. Having pivoted to making hand sanitizer in the early months of the pandemic, like many craft distilleries, this milestone was not assured. “My mantra has been pivot, adapt, move forward,” said owner and co-founder Meghan Brown. “Elevating our branding at this time is designed to be a reset, reinvigorating our vision for the future. We are thrilled to be celebrating four years and are eager to progress,“ said Brown. Enhancements to the Gray Wolf logo and existing labels adds cohesion to the brand as it welcomes the new whiskey into the portfolio.
Batch 001 of Gray Wolf Rye Whiskey will be available beginning Wednesday, October 28, 2020 exclusively at the distillery in Saint Michaels and at participating Maryland farmers’ markets. Orders online for pickup at the distillery or markets can be placed by visiting graywolfspirits.com.
Home delivery to Maryland residents is currently available beginning Monday, November 2, 2020. Future batches will be considered for wholesale depending on availability. The new label rollout for the already available spirits has begun in select stores throughout Maryland and Washington, DC.