Mad River Releases Whiskey Aged in Cabernet Barrels

Mad River Distillers of Warren, Vermont, announces the release of Mad River Rye Whiskey Finished in Silver Oak Cellars Barrels.

Mad River Distillers ferments, distills and bottles a variety of whiskeys at their farm for distribution in New England, New York and California. One of the perennial best sellers is Revolution Rye, a whiskey distilled with roasted ‘chocolate’ rye from the Northeast, which adds a complex and aromatic cocoa/mocha note to the spicy nature of the organic rye grains.

In 2018, Nick O’Connell approached Mad River Distillers with the idea for a unique collaborative whiskey, and the distillery jumped at the opportunity. O’Connell is the founder of Caskforce, a Boston-based retailer that curates cask- finished whiskey. He had his eye on some Silver Oak Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon barrels and thought a potential pairing between the wine barrels and Mad River Distillers Revolution Rye would work well together. Silver Oak ages their Cabernet in toasted American oak barrels, which both complements and contrasts the charred American oak in which the whiskey is matured.

O’Connell sourced the barrels and shipped them to Vermont, where Mad River Distillers filled the previous red wine-filled casks with aged Revolution Rye, a unique style whiskey with a rare 100 percent rye mashbill. With only five barrels aged in the Mad River Distillers rickhouse, the new limited release showcases the strengths of both the wine and the whiskey.

“I thought the dark berry and white pepper notes of the Silver Oak Cabernet casks were the perfect complement to the rich cocoa notes of Mad River’s Rye whiskey,” O’Connell noted.

Mad River Distillers head distiller Alex Hilton agreed; “The Silver Oak Cellars barrels heightened the roasted notes of the chocolate rye in our mashbill, while adding a lush velvet smoothness to the mouthfeel of the whiskey.”

The Mad River Rye Whiskey Finished in Silver Oak Cellars Cabernet Barrel collaboration is priced at $54.99 per bottle and available beginning Friday, November 20 at Post Road Liquors in Wayland, Mass., and Upper Falls Beverage in Needham, Mass., as well as directly from the distillery in Vermont via its tasting rooms in Burlington and Waitsfield.

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