First Barrels Of Nashoba Single Malt will be Tapped in August

May 25, 2009

The rolling hills lined with fruit trees beside an elegant restaurant in a restored New England farmhouse are in stark contrast to the usual whiskey-making operation. There are no backwoods tubs filled with sour mash, À la Jack Daniel’s. Nor is this the heather-carpeted hills of Scotland, the only locale where a single-malt whiskey can legally be called scotch.

Nevertheless, Nashoba Valley Winery will roll out its new single malt in August. Roll out, literally, as the first bottles have been aging in former wine barrels for the last five years.

Owner Richard A. Pelletier got the state’s first farmer’s distillery license in 2003, following the passage of a 2002 law that made it easier for farmers to get such licenses so they can make beer, wine and spirits from their crops.

Mr. Pelletier, 54, a Fitchburg native who was in the retail liquor business before he bought the Wattaquadock Hill Road winery in 1995, joins a growing number of microdistilleries in the United States. Although there are just a handful in Massachusetts – in Gloucester, Sheffield, in the Berkshires; and on Nantucket – Bill Owens, president of the California-based American Distilling Institute, called the state a pioneer in crop distilling.

“Massachusetts is a great state to open a distillery. It’s very progressive – unlike those ignoramuses in the South who are still living in the dark ages,” Mr. Owens said.

Read the full article at HERE.