In the wider world of whisky, it has become common-place, maybe even tradition, for industrial whisky makers to view the malted grains they use to make whisky as little more than a source of alcohol and opt to use the cheapest, most flavourless grain available. As beer makers, we know that the use of different grain varieties will produce a myriad of flavours like citrus, toffee, red fruits and cacao in our beers. Those are all characteristics we value in our whisky, and we couldn’t believe distillers weren’t building these flavours into their whisky as early in the process as possible. That’s why every Two Brewers whisky begins with thoughtful grain selection, laying a foundation for the extraordinary.
The mashing and fermentation of our distiller’s beer is another place where our pedigree as brewers informs the Two Brewers approach. We use a variety of mashing techniques borrowed from beer making that serve to introduce new flavours into our mashes before they even get near a distillation column, then carry the exercise through to our fermentation tanks, where we experiment with temperature and yeast varietals, always looking for new and interesting flavours to extract from the process. Working in small-batches allows us to make adjustments as we go and learn the best ways to build great whiskies at every stage in the Two Brewers Process.
At this point in the process, we’ve built a flavourful and rich distiller’s beer, a far cry from the monotonous product most distillers feed into their stills, and our work through the distillation process is focused on preserving and accentuating those flavours. Distillation is at its heart a separation process, and while separating water from alcohol is necessary to produce a high proof spirit, if the distiller isn’t careful that same process can also result in those promising flavours being separated out. At Two Brewers, we’re not only working to preserve the flavour that has been painstakingly built through the mashing and fermentation process, we’re also looking to experiment and adjust our distillation techniques to bring those flavours out in new and exciting ways. It’s another step made possible by working in small batches and through careful attention.
Our barreling philosophy follows our approach to mashing and distillation;
we seek out variety. We use a selection of virgin oak barrels, customized
for us with varying levels of char and toast, as well as used barrels purchased
second-hand from a wide range of producers we admire. The use of barrels
that once held spirits such as bourbon, sherry or rum builds flavours that can’t
be produced with malted barley alone, while staying true to the tenets of
single malt spirits. Just as each batch of spirit is unique, now each barrel
in a batch can develop and age uniquely as well, building a palate of diverse
flavours that can be expertly recombined into unique expressions of our craft.
We will never release the same whisky twice, we don’t have the resources or the desire to blend thousands of barrels of similar whisky into one homogenous product. Instead, we’ve chosen to celebrate the flavours our processes build and challenge whisky drinkers to keep up. Each Two Brewers release is a unique expression, born from a desire to compliment and explore the idiosyncrasies that develop in our barrels, rather than disguise them. This allows us to develop a layered combination of tones and flavours, crafting a unique whisky which we allow to mingle and evolve into its final form, ready to be bottled and – finally after years of work – shared.