GRAND RAPIDS - Press Release:
Gray Skies Distillery, a small-batch distillery, announced today the release of two new spirits, Michigan Single Malt Whiskey and Apple Brandy. Gray Skies Distillery's focus is on their process, flavors and environment. They take pride in introducing traditional spirits – like gin, vodka, whiskey and rum – with a surprising flavor twist unique to Gray Skies. The distillery barrel ages the whiskey and brandy onsite for months or years, prior to releasing to the public. Customers can pre-order both spirits online at http://bit.ly/GSDSpiritsRelease, which will also include slate coasters and tasting glasses as part of the package.
"We are part of a new trend of creating unique and interesting spirits in the same way craft breweries have over the last 20 years," said Steve Vander Pol, co-owner of Gray Skies Distillery. "Our Single Malt Whiskey and Apple Brandy are the result of our innovative 500-gallon batch process using whole Michigan grains that are milled into flour on site."
Gray Skies' unique small-batch process is married with traditional methods to create a spirit that is innovative and equal in quality to national brands. The distillery is committed to sourcing ingredients from West Michigan farmers whenever possible to distill their flavor-forward spirits. From local malted barley to whole peppercorn and vanilla bean, their innovative ingredients push the limits on what good spirits truly embody.
The Michigan Single Malt Whiskey is a scotch style whiskey made from 100% malted barley purchased from Pilot Malt House, one of only four malt houses in Michigan. The grains in whiskey were grown, malted, distilled and aged within a 15-mile radius. The 750 ml bottle of whiskey is being offered as part of a cocktail week package for $60, which includes four slate coasters and tasting glasses.
"Our Michigan Single Style Whiskey is the first spirit to ever feature Pilot Malt House's proprietary Peanut Butter Toast malt," said Brandon Voorhees, co-owner of Gray Skies Distillery. "The whiskey is aged six months in 15-gallon barrels to 'smooth the edges,' but not cause the unique grain flavors to recede."
Gray Skies' Apple Brandy is made from fermented apples with a rum yeast (as opposed to a typical cider yeast when making hard cider) in the fermentation process to create a distinct spirit all their own. The distillery double distilled the hard cider onsite and aged the apple brandy in used barrels previously used to age rye whiskey. This provided additional depth of flavor to the brandy with just a hint of the characteristic peppery rye whiskey bite. Fifteen-gallon barrels were used to keep the underlying ingredients prominent. The 750 ml bottle of brandy is being offered as part of a cocktail week package for $55, which includes four slate coasters and tasting glasses.
"Many distilleries partner with a hard cider company and bring in someone else's hard cider to distill," said Voorhees. "We wanted to have full control over the flavors of the finished product and fermented the apple juice ourselves."
Gray Skies' spirits are currently available in many independent liquor stores around Grand Rapids, as well as 70+ restaurants. Distribution is currently limited to Michigan but the distillery has plans to expand to all Great Lakes region.
"Our spirits lineup has grown from two to seven with the launch of the Michigan Single Malt Whiskey and Apple Brandy," said Vander Pol. "Our company has grown from Brandon and I to a team of seven and we will continue to grow as quickly as our sales allow us to."
For more information about Gray Skies Distillery please visit: www.grayskiesdistillery.com
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