It feels like it was just a month ago that we released our Summer Collection, our most successful release to date. But in actuality, summer has flown by and it has been three months to the day since the release. And now, as the leaves in Vermont are already starting to turn, it’s time to announce our Fall 2022 Single Cask Collection.
Our first year or so of single cask releases didn’t really have a theme, beyond “here are some really cool and unique whiskies that we can’t wait to share.” That has changed this year, and in fact we really like doing more thematic collections, giving whiskey lovers a lens through which to view and think about the wide variety of whiskies we release. The Spring Collection this year emphasized innovation–boundary-breaking whiskies. The Summer Collection celebrated comparison, showing a different side of more well-known distilleries and encouraging us to try our I.B. releases alongside each other and alongside the distillery’s official bottlings (or O.B.s, as they’re usually called in other parts of the world).
But the Fall Collection probably has my favorite theme of all, the one I’ve wanted to do for a long time. That’s the idea of DISCOVERY.
The Spirit of Discovery
The Summer Collection included whiskies from a few distilleries that are very well-known and actually available in much or all of the country, places like Balcones and St. George Spirits. But these relatively big names are absolutely not the only ones out there. The Fall Single Cask Collection explores those distilleries that are not nearly as widely available. In fact, every one of the distilleries in this Collection only releases its own whiskies in their home market. For most of them, they’re only available in their home state. One, Cedar Ridge, gets out there somewhat more widely, but still almost exclusively in the Midwest.
You may have heard of some of these distilleries before, and wondered when you’d be able to get your hands on their whiskies. Or you may not yet have heard about any of them, or know much about them. Honestly, it probably depends on how much time you spend reading whiskey magazines, whiskey blogs, whiskey reviews, and that sort of thing.
With this Collection, we want to help you discover whiskies from distilleries you’ve probably never been able to try before. We want to help share their stories and get their whiskey out a little wider. Some of them have expansion plans and may one day be available in dozens of states. Others have very different ambitions, preferring to own their home market. But all of these distilleries, whether you’ve heard of them or not, come from distilleries that are locally or regionally beloved… and very well-regarded in the whiskey world, for those who have been able to get to know them.
Anyway, we can’t wait to find out what everyone thinks… especially if it’s a whiskey you take a chance on from a place you didn’t know much about before our release. That’s a big part of why we do what we do, after all! Without further ado, the Lost Lantern Fall 2022 Single Cask Collection:
The Lost Lantern Fall 2022 Single Cask Collection
2022 Single Cask #12: Boulder Spirits Peated Colorado Single Malt Whiskey
164 btls | 148.94 Proof
Boulder Spirits was founded by Scotsman Alastair Brogan, who has brought Scottish whisky making traditions to the Rockies. Made from 100% peated Scottish barley and distilled on Scottish Forsyths pot stills, this whiskey was aged for 5 years in new oak. It’s heavily peated and very smoky, with flavors of smoked figs, bacon-wrapped dates, bitter orange marmalade, and fresh-baked brownies. We’ve only released a few peated whiskies so far, and this is the first one that was aged in new oak… and the first one from high elevation, which seems to lead to a greater concentration of flavors (and more evaporation in general).
When we were on our “Great Whiskey Road Trip,” we reached out to dozens of distilleries to set up meetings. Boulder was one of the very first to reach out to us and invite us to visit. We didn’t know much about them: they were, and are, only really available in Colorado. But once we visited, we loved their approach and way of doing things. We released a high-malt bourbon from Boulder last fall, and it actually scored a gasp-inducing 98 points in Wine Enthusiast. But their primary focus is single malt. So we’re thrilled to release this peated cask and really show what Boulder is capable of. *Note: Boulder’s high altitude tends to result in high-proof spirits. Single Cask #12 was bottled at its natural cask strength of 148.94 proof.
2022 Single Cask #13: Cedar Ridge Iowa 5-Year-Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey
100 btls | 123.08 Proof
Cedar Ridge Distillery has long been one of our favorite distilleries in the whole country… and one of the ones that we’re most consistently impressed by. They make a lot of different types of whiskies, and they make all of them well. But it’s no surprise that their signature is bourbon. After all, they’re in the heart of the corn belt in Iowa, and the dramatic temperature swings of the Great Plains help create whiskies with a soft, clean, yet spicy character.
But Cedar Ridge has found a level of success in their home market unlike any other distillery in the country. Cedar Ridge’s bourbon is actually the top-selling bourbon in Iowa. In Iowa, it outsells its biggest competitor, from one of the big brands, by 38%! But as you would expect, Cedar Ridge’s flagship is not at cask strength, and it’s certainly not a single cask. This release, which is actually our second bourbon single cask from Cedar Ridge, is (of course) both. Made from 74% corn, 14% rye, and 12% malted barley, this straight bourbon whiskey was aged for 5 years, giving it great depth and complexity (by comparison, our first Cedar Ridge bourbon was 3 years old). It has white flowers and vanilla on the nose, a complex palate with white chocolate and baking spice, and a very long finish.
2022 Single Cask #14: Cedar Ridge Iowa 6-Year-Old Straight Malted Rye Whiskey
211 btls | 120.3 Proof
Cedar Ridge is one of the few distilleries to regularly distill malted rye whiskey, which is made with germinated rye grain. This style has been around for many years, but as far as I know it was never made all that widely. But maybe it should be! At the least, Cedar Ridge has proved to us that this style is worth a lot more attention than it gets. Although it’s technically a different classification than most rye whiskey, it’s still very much in the same vein, and rye whiskey lovers should find a lot here that’s quite familiar.
This 6-year-old single cask, our oldest straight rye whiskey to date, was made with 51% malted rye, 34% rye, 12% corn, and 3% malted barley. It has a citrusy nose, with lemon, custard, and a rich depth on the palate. The malted rye grain adds a complex, biscuity and toasty flavor and a great mouthfeel. Between this, the cask above, and our Cedar Ridge Iowa single malt that won Best of Class at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, we hope you’ll see exactly why we love Cedar Ridge so much. They’re the first distillery we’ve released three different styles of whiskey from, with three different label colors (will they be the first to get the full quartet? Only time will tell!). And trust us, if you’re ever out in Iowa or even just driving through, Cedar Ridge is absolutely worth a stop. It’s actually a very picturesque distillery, which is not all that common either in most of the country. Say that Lost Lantern sent you!
2022 Single Cask #15: Copperworks Distilling Washington Single Malt (Single Farm, Single Variety)
225 btls | 116.9 Proof
Founded by brewers, Copperworks brings craft beer’s precision and commitment to local ingredients to distilling. This is our first single cask from the distillery, and our first single cask from Washington state. But if you’ve been following us for a while, you may remember that we’ve actually worked with Copperworks before. They were a key part of the blending session for our flagship American Vatted Malt, and contributed two casks to the final blend. But they’re a fairly small distillery–real estate on the Seattle waterfront isn’t all that spacious! So it took us a little while to be able to pry a single cask from them. We’re thrilled that that day has finally arrived.
Copperworks works closely with local farms to source its grain, which we believe leads to whiskies that truly reflect the climate of the Pacific Northwest. This single malt was made from a single variety of barley called Baronesse, grown on a single farm, the family-owned Joseph’s Grainery in Colfax, WA. Aged for 3 years in a new oak cask, it has vanilla and white pepper on the nose and lavender, oak and saltwater taffy on the palate. It’s a true whiskey portrait of grain from just one place, with its own unique climate. Funnily enough, it’s also the first single malt in any of our Collections that is neither smoked nor finished/aged in some kind of special cask. We’ve done peated whiskey, mesquited whiskey, sherry and wine-finished whiskey, even tequila-aged whiskey, but this is our first that’s just pure unpeated single malt in all its glory.
2022 Single Cask #16: Breuckelen Distilling 8-Year-Old New York Malted Wheat Whiskey
165 btls | 138.9 Proof
Founded in 2010 in Brooklyn, Breuckelen Distilling has been making unique and delicious whiskies that push the boundaries of traditional whiskey styles since its inception. We visited them long before we started Lost Lantern… Brooklyn is our old hometown, after all! And we’ve always admired their willingness to do something different than anyone else. They’ve made bourbons that use oats as a secondary grain. They’ve distilled whiskey from rye and corn that doesn’t fit into any conventional category. They don’t really care what they have to call it on the label, as long as they’re making unique and delicious whiskies. And they do it all on-site in Brooklyn, using local grains (well, local to New York State – there aren’t any farms in New York City!).
So we were very intrigued when we revisited Breuckelen this spring and got to try a style of whiskey even we had never tried before: malted wheat. We tasted it and were enthralled on the spot. We tend to think of wheat whiskies as being gentle and light. Not this one. Made with 100% malted red wheat, this has a deep, rich, and powerful flavor but a soft texture, with notes of rich oak, chocolate banana bread, cranberry teacake, and ginger spice. It’s also eight years old, which was a fun surprise. This is actually the oldest single cask Lost Lantern has released to date, but that’s not what drew us to it. We love this whiskey because it is truly complex, delicious, and unexpected. We can’t wait to find out what everyone else thinks as well.
The Fall Collection will launch on September 21st, and we hope you’ll come along and join us on this mission of discovery!