For those of you who don’t know the full backstory of how Colorado’s Leopold Bros Distillery resurrected an extinct style of American rye whiskey from Maryland, it’s worth watching this video
on our Instagram account for pure inspiration.
Those already familiar with the project know that Maryland rye was a style of American whiskey made popular during the Civil War, while soldiers were stationed in the region defending the nation’s capital. It was characterized by a high-rye mash bill with just a bit of corn and a good chunk of malted barley—a specialty that Leopold Bros does completely in-house.
To bring this classic back to life, Todd tracked down dusty bottles of old Maryland rye whiskey from collectors around the country, many of whom were willing to share samples to aid him in the process. After wrapping his head around the flavor profile, he set to work resurrecting the Maryland style at his Denver distillery.
Using a recipe of 65% rye, 15% corn, and a whopping 20% of his own floor-malted barley, this new 100 proof single barrel edition captures the buttery, fruity essence of Maryland rye and of a whiskey-making tradition that officially died in the early 1970s. After a slow fermentation, the mash is double pot-distilled and aged for over five years in new oak at the Leopold Bros dunnage-style warehouse.
The result is a softer, creamier, and more fruit-forward style of rye whiskey with notes of orange marmalade and a buttery finish. At over 5 years of age (we’ve seen some bottles over 6 years old), the whiskey is in a beautiful spot.