The 'Ville - January 2020

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LUCA MARIANO DISTILLERY UNVEILS SINGLE BARREL KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON Northville’s Francesco S. Viola made a splash in the premium whiskey world last spring when his startup company, Luca Mariano Distillery, released its first batch of Old Americana Bourbon. To much fanfare, he followed that up a few months later with his first Rye, noted for its bold taste and full body. The company is very excited about the release of its third product, Francesco S. Viola Signature Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon. A special release will take place January 17, which is both Francesco’s 43rd birthday and the 100th anniversary of Prohibition.

107 proof, you don’t realize it. It is smooth and well balanced. It’s not something you soon forget.”

The release will be very limited— just three barrels. Only 349 bottles will be sold at select stores in Michigan. The rest (211 bottles) will be on shelves in Kentucky, where the bourbon has been aging for nearly five years at the company’s distillery in Danville.

“I’ve always loved the taste cherry wood gives. I thought I would experiment and try it with the bourbon. It exceeded my expectations,” said Francesco.

This new bourbon is the result of Francesco’s unique recipe, which he says is comprised of more than 51-percent corn with a balance of smoked malted barley—the key to its smoky, yet smooth flavor. “It drinks very clean,” Francesco said. “It has a great flavor. Although it comes in a little hot at

Francesco won’t divulge all the details of his recipe, but says a key factor is smoking the malted barley with cherry wood, something he first learned to love while smoking meats at home.

It is no secret that Francesco is passionate for whiskey— and bourbon in particular. His beloved grandfather Mariano— part of the company’s namesake along with his son Luca—first taught him how to make whiskey, which he began to do as a hobby in 2010. A few years later he founded the company in honor of his Sicilian-born grandfather, who inspired him. Francesco’s ties to whiskey go back even further than 2010. His

great-grandfather (Mariano’s dad), Baldassare Viola, was heavily in debt to the Italian mafia, so he worked for them running whiskey between Canada and the United States during Prohibition. This is what led the family from Italy to America many years later in the 1970s, and a couple generations later the creation of Luca Mariano Distillery. Coincidental, yet ironic, that the new bourbon is set to be released on the 100th anniversary of Prohibition.

FRANCESCO S. VIOLA SIGNATURE SINGLE BARREL KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON will be available beginning January 17 and can be found locally at: G.S. Royal Oak Wine Palace Livonia Superfine Wine Canton Canopy Bottle Brighton Tippins Market Ann Arbor

Francesco is intimately involved in every aspect of the bourbon making process, from developing each recipe to hand-picking the barrels, which, despite their similarities, produce their own taste. In fact, he personally chose the three barrels for this special release, and will continue to do each year in limited quantities on his birthday. He’s confident bourbon lovers will come to anticipate January 17th as much as he does.