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At sampling events, consumers are usually surprised by its character, though their experiences tend to be quite subjective. According to anecdotal feedback Graybeard has received, some find Bedlam reminiscent of rum, while others detect tequila, whiskey or even sake notes. “If you probe a little bit into [the respondents], those are generally their favorite liquors,” McCurdy says. “People who really like whiskey will pick up whiskey. People who really like sake will pick up sake.” The sake part really is little more than the power of suggestion, as Bedlam has little in common with the Japanese beverage beyond their use of rice—different types of rice at that—not to mention the fact that sake is not distilled. Additionally, much of sake’s character is imparted by the koji mold, which is inoculated onto rice to produce the enzymes necessary to break down the starches into fermentable sugars. “Koji is what gives it its pungent and funky personality and we

don’t use that process at all,” Russ points out. Whether based on preconceived notions or actual flavor notes, Russ says Bedlam’s character is challenging consumers to experience vodka differently. And it’s enabling bartenders to swap out tequila in favor of Bedlam in a margarita, for instance, or replace cachaça in a Caipirinha for a more flavorful Caipiroska. Russ says it also works in place of gin in a Negroni if a drinker wants to take some of the juniper kick out of that classic cocktail. “We like to show that it’s a kind of singularity in the spirits industry,” Russ says. “This is what your vodka wants to be when it grows up,” Russ says. “It’s a vodka for everybody. Why does vodka get such a bad rap? Scotch is appreciated on its own, [so are] rum, gin, and whiskey, so why not vodka?”

Graybeard Distillery is located in Durham, NC. Visit bedlamvodka.com for more information.

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www.iscbarrels.com Chad Spalding • 270.699.1557 chad.spalding@independentstavecompany.com

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Artisan Spirit: Spring 2018  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

Artisan Spirit: Spring 2018  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.