My name is Carlo DeVito, and I am the author of East Coast Wineries: A Complete Guide from Maine to Virginia published by Rutgers University Press. This blog is dedicated to primarily east coast wines and wineries including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. It will also feature products and information from other regions.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Nashoba Stimulus Single Malt Whiskey - Amazing Single Malt From Massachusetts! (MA)
Nashoba Valley Winery & Distillery
Stimulus Single Malt Whiskey 42%
Located in the heart of Massachusetts’ apple country, Nashoba Valley Winery is a stunning hilltop orchard overlooking the charming town of Bolton. They first started producing fruit wines in 1978, and since then have gone to produce fine food wines, beers, and fine spirits. The family-owned orchard and farm, not only boasts all of those, but a restaurant as well.
I went with friend Richard Srsich (foreground) and Bill Rotondi and MaryBeth Robinson-Morello...
...and Hudson Valley wine authority and author Stephen Casscles.
Nashoba Vallley Winery has won more than 100 national and international medals, and the has received accolades from such noteworthy publications as “Boston Magazine”, “Wine Enthusiast,” “Cooking Light,” ”Food & Wine,” and “The Yankee Magazine.”
"I remember sitting down with my wife and saying, 'We'll spend $60- or $70,000 and after 10 years we might start getting some of it back,'" owner Richard Pelletier told Eric Felton of the Wall Street Journal. "At least the kids are young," he joked with his wife, "so at the very least, years from now we can have an open bar at their weddings." Felton noted that Mr. Pelletier kept “the oldest barrel in his living room, where he [could] easily steal tastes and keep tabs on its progress.”
Nashoba started distilling in 2003. They laid down their first two casks of whiskey in 2004. They laid down 5 in 2005. And they’ve been laying down 20 barrels a year since 2006. They released their Stimulus Single Malt Whiskey for the first time on November 14, 2009. The first two batches produced 600 bottles. They use barley, and the batch sizes have fluctuated, as is normally the case with small micro-batch distilleries.
“It’s paranoia (about hard liquor). There are no books about how to make rum, but thousands on how to make beer and wine. Distilleries have to glean information on their own and learn it themselves,” Pelletier told the Telegram (Worcester, MA). “For all intents and purposes, the process of making beer, and the whiskey wash (a byproduct of beer) are the same processes. The temperature is different, and some of the grains are different. The whiskey wash is distilled after that.”
The thing you have to love about Stimulus is that it is absolutely a product of place, like few others in the nation. Their malt whisky is produced, aged, and bottled at their distillery in Bolton, Massachusetts. They make the wash for distilling. They distill it right there behind the tasting room bar. It is aged in new whiskey barrels as well as in their own, previously used wine barrels, for cask finishing. Then, they have several of their whiskey barrels cut up, and the small chucks are used as the stopper in the bottle! That’s intense!
There is a funny story about the origins of the packaging. The whiskey was originally named for the stimulus packages that were given out in the early 2000s, which was partly how the still was funded. As a tongue-in-cheek homage, the distillery first submitted the name to a partisan, conservative governmental board, which rejected it, saying that “Stimulus” sounded more like a drug than a whiskey. Disheartened, Pelletier and his team regrouped and came up with a whole new name and package for approval. But just before presenting it for the second time, he realized that there were new names on the approval board who had never seen or heard about the old package. They submitted the old package again, and this time it came through with flying colors, proving that all politics is local…and timely.
Color: Rich golden
Nose: Lots of fruit up front. Apple. Pear. Red fruits. Slightly floral. Spices. Toast. Vanilla.
Taste: Medium bodied. Apple, pear, and light red fruits all come through. Hints of honey, apricot, and spice all come through with lovely mouthfeel.