Warren, Vermont, November 7th, 2016– Mad River Distillers of Warren is debuting its newest whiskey with the strictly limited edition release of Hopscotch, the first (legal) Vermont Single Malt Whiskey in, as far as we can tell, at least a hundred years.
The 2016 Mad River Distillers Hopscotch release, bottled at 92 proof (46% ABV), is the result of a collaboration with neighbor and award-winning brewer Sean Lawson of Lawson’s Finest Liquids.
Just 200 hand-numbered bottles have been produced for the Vermont market, along with a limited release to key craft spirits retailers in Massachusetts. Sales begin on Tuesday, November 15th.
“Hopscotch came about from our friendship with Sean and the idea that we had been interested in doing a Single Malt whiskey,” said Mad River Distillers Alex Hilton. “We worked on a mash bill collectively that we felt would be well suited for a Single Malt. We distilled it, he added some hops then we barreled it. And then we waited…”
Lawson completed a 100% barley beer wash as the base for the whiskey at his brewery, 10% of which was maple-smoked with wood sourced from the distillery’s Cold Springs Farm. Mad River then distilled the wash into whiskey in its Müller still. It filled new, charred American Oak barrels which aged in the company’s rickhouse.
Hopscotch was aged for over a year, and carefully tested for maturation along the way by Mad River Distillers Alex Hilton, John Egan and Brett Little. The result is a supple, flavorful whiskey that bridges the ground between the classic American whiskey style and the smoky tang of traditional Scottish Single Malts. The final stamp of approval came from Lawson himself.
“I think he was impressed,” Hilton commented. “I don’t think there were really any expectations, but when he tasted the finished whiskey, he gave us his ‘2000 percent’ approval!”
The company plans a release party at the Mad River Distillers Burlington tasting room on Tuesday, November 15th complete with food, beer from Lawson’s Finest and live music from members of The Grift.
About Mad River Distillers:
Mad River Distillers was founded in 2011 by John Egan, Brett Little and Maura Connolly with the intention of producing high-quality, handcrafted spirits using locally-sourced, non-GMO ingredients and Cold Springs Farm’s exceptionally pure natural spring water. The Warren, Vermont-based company, which is now distributed in New England, New York and California, currently produces four rums, three whiskeys including Hopscotch, and Malvados Apple Brandy, which was a 2015 Good Food Awards winner.
About Lawson’s Finest Liquids:
Lawson’s Finest is a small batch, artisanal microbrewery located in Warren, Vermont. The beer is custom crafted at a modest production facility tucked in the woods, on the east flank of Lincoln Mountain.
Sean Lawson has earned critical acclaim and an enthusiastic fan following in the world of craft brewing. He started Lawson’s Finest as a single-barrel nanobrewery, with his wife Karen in 2008 after 20 years of home brewing. His specialty maple beers & IPA’s have garnered awards at the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, and at two National IPA championships (2011 – Triple Play IPA and 2016- Super Session #2.)