The Story: To make a malt whiskey you need to start, in essence, by making a beer. Ergo: to make a good malt whiskey, you need to start by making a good beer. So for Two Med, we started by reaching out to our friends at Great Northern Brewing Company to help on the good beer part of the equation. In tasting through the lineup of their flagship beers we became intrigued by the deep rich malt flavors of their Good Medicine “Strong Red Ale” and how the sweet malt was perfectly tempered by the bitterness and floral notes of the Cluster & Wilamette hops used in the brew.
We decided we wanted to recreate that balance in the whiskey. The 43% alcohol would replace the bitterness of the hops, the heavy char barrel would recreate the deep red / amber color and lend a caramel sweetness to the whiskey. But what about the floral notes?
Normally a whiskey is made soley from grain, and hops is an unnecessary ingredient. But for Two Med, we distilled a fully hopped, keg ready, version of the beer in hopes of capturing an additional layer of flavor. After a double distillation and two years in new oak barrels, we were pleased to find we had recaptured the perfect harmony of the original brew.
NB: Why doesn’t it say “whiskey” on the label? Well according to US law, a whiskey can only contain grain and no other ingredients. We might have been able to call Two Med a “Hop Flavored” whiskey but we didn’t really flavor the whiskey we distilled it. So we decided on the most straightforward description: “Spirits Distilled from Grain and Hops.”
Tasting Notes: Two Med has a subtle nose of dried fruit, malt and honey. The fruit and malt carry strongly on the tongue and the whiskey finishes with a maple sweetness. Take time to work through the many layers of flavors as the spirit travels across the tongue. Best served neat with a splash of water.