Breaking Bourbon — “Introducing Lost Lantern Whiskey”

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October 6, 2020 — The best whiskey reflects its origin, its craftsmanship, its ingredients, and its distillers. Inspired by the long tradition of independent bottlers in Scotland, Lost Lantern is a new independent bottler of American whiskey. The company seeks out the most unique and exciting whiskies being made all across the country and releases them as single casks and blends, always with a deep commitment to transparency.

With the launch of Lost Lantern comes the introduction of the brand’s first bottling, American Vatted Malt Edition No. 1. This blend of single malts from six American distilleries will be available for purchase as of October 15 at and shortly thereafter; between the two sites, Lost Lantern Whiskey will be available in 40 states. Later this month, the brand will announce details on its first four limited-edition single cask whiskies, which will also be released this fall.

Lost Lantern was founded in 2018 by Nora Ganley-Roper and Adam Polonski, whiskey lovers who worked on two sides of the industry: Nora as a retail specialist and Sales Manager at Astor Wine & Spirits; Adam as a Senior Whisky Specialist and Editor at Whisky Advocate. The decision to become an independent bottler was born from their desire to highlight the great distilleries crafting exciting whiskey around the country.  “There are approximately 2,000 distilleries in the United States, yet there’s no easy way for whiskey lovers to discover the best and most exciting ones,” explained Adam. “I kept dwelling on this idea and realized that somebody was going to do this sooner or later. It was clear that, between my experience and contacts and Nora’s palate and background in startups and operations, we were the ones who should do it.” Lost Lantern was born soon after.

Nora and Adam have committed to only purchasing whiskey from distilleries they have visited in person. “We’re presenting distilleries to our customers under the Lost Lantern name as exemplars in their field, so we need to understand what they’re doing and why,” commented Nora. Since deciding to create Lost Lantern, Nora and Adam have visited close to 100 distilleries. Many of these visits were part of their 2018 “Great Whiskey Road Trip,” which took the duo to 50 distilleries in eight months across dozens of states. Inspired to continue on, they visited another 25 while touring the Midwest in 2019, and that number has only continued to increase.

While their roles at Lost Lantern overlap in various areas, Nora and Adam have defined responsibilities within the company. Nora manages the operations and oversees whiskey production, while Adam heads up sales, marketing, and whiskey sourcing—seeking out distilleries that are making unique and interesting products. As Nora explains, “We think of Lost Lantern as shining a light on whiskies that would otherwise be lost. That sometimes means bottling something from a distillery that is not distributed nationally, and which doesn’t get the attention we think they deserve. It can also mean bottling barrels from more well-known distilleries that are not consistent with their core lineup. This may be a finished whiskey, or an experiment that they’re not quite sure how to release. We’re looking for whiskies that we can bottle or blend that will expand the understanding of the landscape of American whiskey by whiskey connoisseurs.”


In October, Lost Lantern will introduce their first whiskey, American Vatted Malt Edition No. 1. Limited to 3,000 bottles, the blend will be available for purchase at as of October 15th for $120. This 12-barrel blend of American single malts has been aged for two years, is non-chill-filtered with no color added and has been bottled at 52.5% abv.

This first edition is a complex and balanced blend with notes of baking spice, salted pretzel and hints of roasted barley surrounded by a savory smokiness that culminates in a long, warm finish of milk chocolate and sea salt.

American Vatted Malt Edition No. 1 is one of the first blends of American single malts ever made in the United States and represents the whiskey world’s true spirit of collaboration and harmony. Through a collaborative process that took several months to set up, Nora and Adam brought together the founders and distillers behind some of the country’s most distinctive single malts, all of whom hand-selected barrels for this unique blend and met in Denver to create it as a group. Over the course of a single marathon day, they worked, tasted, and blended together.

Jared Himstedt, Head Distiller at Balcones Distilling was supportive of the initiative from the beginning. “I was super excited to get to work on this project, to start with American Single Malts from a bunch of different distilleries from across the country and work collaboratively with the other distillers and blenders on this expression,” explained Himstedt. “It was a unique project that was lots of fun and I think an example of where the future of American Single Malts is headed. Independent bottlers, offering both single barrels and blends, are all going to be becoming more prominent as the category and community keeps developing to bring new and delicious whiskies to the table.”

The result is American Vatted Malt Edition No. 1, a singular and special single malt blend from the following distilleries:

  • Balcones (Waco, Texas)
  • Copperworks (Seattle, Washington)
  • Santa Fe Spirits (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
  • Triple Eight (Nantucket, Massachusetts)
  • Westward (Portland, Oregon)
  • Virginia Distillery Co. (Lovingston, Virginia)

“American Vatted Malt is indicative of why American craft whiskey is so exciting,” said the founders.  “We brought together six of the very best single malt producers in the U.S. and we worked together to create something entirely new and unique. It’s a great symbol of what we want Lost Lantern to contribute to the industry and provide for whiskey lovers. It’s unique, collaborative, and above all, deeply delicious.”

Find Lost Lantern Whiskey online, on Instagram, and on Twitter

published by: BBTEAM