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We Ask Old Elk Master Distiller Greg Metze About Crafting Whiskey

Old Elk Distillery, nested in Fort Collins, Colorado, was born from a vision of integrity, quality, craftsmanship, and innovation. Founded by Curt Richardson in 2013, it aspired to create a portfolio of whiskeys that transcended tradition. The goal was ambitious—to build legacy brands and craft innovative, quality products.

In 2012, the team at Old Elk asked master distiller Greg Metze to craft and produce custom whiskey mash bills specifically for them after his 24-year odyssey at Seagram’s Distillery, “I subsequently joined Old Elk in 2016,” shares Metze, “We have created a very nice portfolio of products intended to satisfy and entice our consumers. We have our core four categories of whiskey that are quite unique and different from all others. High Malted Barley Bourbon, Wheat Bourbon, Wheat Whiskey and Rye Whiskey—we then complement these with our Master Series blends and our exceptional Cask Finish program.” We asked Metze to tell us more.

Tell us a bit about your background in the industry.

I started my career in June of 1978 after completing my Chemical Engineering Degree at the University of Cincinnati. I joined Seagram’s Distillery located in Lawrenceburg, Indiana to begin what became a 24-year training program to become a Master Distiller. To this day, I consider that training to be the best in the world. Over the course of my 38-year career at the Lawrenceburg distillery, I migrated from a producer of Seagram Brand products only to the world’s largest contract distiller. I met Old Elk in 2012 when they ask me to craft and produce custom whiskey mash bill’s specifically for them. I subsequently joined Old Elk in June of 2016 as a consultant and became a full-time employee as their Master Distiller in March of 2017.

Talk to us about Old Elk- its history and heritage.

Rooted in innovation, quality, craftsmanship, and integrity. Richardson desired to create a distinctive portfolio of whiskeys that embodied his passion for whiskey, to build legacy brands and to make innovative, quality products.
Today, Old Elk is available nationwide and has been given several prestigious awards in various spirits competitions. We aim to continue to innovate and raise the bar within our whiskies by creating products within the brand’s various ranges.

What would you like bartenders to know about your spirits?

Old Elk is rooted in unique mash bills. The mash bill plays a vital role in the flavor profile of the finished product as well as defining the category of spirit produced. Each cereal grain has a unique flavor characteristic that it imparts into the spirit. When choosing the mash bill, you have an open palette to create unique flavors by varying the type and mix of grains. The fermentation process, type of yeast used and maturation also contribute significantly to the flavor profile of the finished product.

Tell us about the infinity blend for gifting. What should bartenders know?

The Infinity Blend is part of my Master’s Blend series, where each release in the series is a limited edition, bottled at high proof and presented in a custom bottle. It is a unique opportunity to showcase my work and how it changes year after year, hand-selecting Old Elk classics including last year’s Infinity Blend, our High-Malt Bourbon aged 8 years, the 7-year-old Old Elk Straight Wheat Whiskey, and Old Elk Straight Wheat Whiskey aged 10 years.

Brands are innovating to attract a new generation of whiskey fans. Tell us more.

Innovation and the best product quality attainable are what consumers are looking for most these days. Old Elk is built on these 2 simple principles. We achieve innovation through our unique mash bills, blends and cask finish and always hit the quality marks because of our experience, knowledge, and attention to detail.

The post We Ask Old Elk Master Distiller Greg Metze About Crafting Whiskey appeared first on Chilled Magazine.

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