VT distiller claims America's 1st single malt

Somewhere in this craft whiskey mad country of ours there is a distiller who will dispute the claim by a Vermont company that it has produced our first legal American single malt. Hopscotch Vermont Single Malt Whiskey is from a cooperative effort by Mad River Distillers and Lawson’s Finest Liquids, a 46% abv (92 proof) whiskey with a 100% barley beer wash as its base; 10% of it was maple smoked with wood sourced from the distillery’s farm.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-6-49-45-pmAs is de rigeur for finer spirits, it was aged for a little over a year in new, charred American white oak barrels. It's a very limited edition, with just 200 hand-numbered bottles for sale at the five-year-old distillery and at several retailers in nearby Massachusetts.

“Hopscotch came about from our friendship with Sean Lawson and the idea that we had been interested in doing a single malt whiskey,” said Mad River’s Alex Hilton in a prepared statement. “We worked on a mash bill collectively that we felt would be well suited for a single malt. We distilled it, he added some hops then we barreled it. And then we waited.”

Mad River Distilling is located at 172 Mad River Green, Waitsfield, VT, and has a tasting room at 137 St. Paul Street in Burlington. Phone: 802-489-5501. Lawson's is a microbrewery located in Warren, VT.

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