May 13, 2013 – 35 Maple Street, the California-based spirits company with ties to the Sebastiani wine family, is developing a new Tennessee Bourbon brand that will make its debut late in 2013 or during 2014. 35 Maple Street’s success has come from Masterson’s Rye, a Canadian whisky produced at an Alberta distillery and bottled by 35 Maple Street, and the company is hoping to repeat that success with Bib & Tucker Bourbon.
“A bib and tucker, in the Western days, was your Sunday finest clothing,” Richard Zeller of 35 Maple Street told WhiskyCast’s Mark Gillespie Saturday (May 11) at the Spirit of Toronto whisky festival. “It’s going to be in an amber cartouche glass, and we’re sourcing the amber glass…it’s not going to be a painted bottle – it’s going to be a real special mold…it’s be really a work of art.” Issues in sourcing the bottles are the reason for the uncertain release date, and Zeller indicates that Bib & Tucker could be released by the end of this year if the bottles can be produced in time.
“The Bourbon is a work of art,” Zeller said without disclosing which Tennessee distillery will be supplying the 8-year-old whiskey. “I’ve been sworn, unfortunately, to secrecy…I’m sure you can imagine, but I can’t tell you.” However, there are only three Tennessee distilleries capable of supplying 8-year-old Bourbon whiskey: Jack Daniel’s in Lynchburg, George Dickel in Tullahoma, and Prichard’s in Kelso. None of the three will admit to offering bulk whiskey for sale, and in fact, George Dickel has faced shortages for its whiskey in recent years and currently sources its George Dickel Rye from MGP-I in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
Purists will note that the term “Tennessee Bourbon” may seem to be an oxymoron. However, it should be noted that Tennessee Whiskeys traditionally meet all of the U.S. requirements for Bourbon, and the use of the “Lincoln County” charcoal-filtering process does not preclude a whiskey from being labeled as a “Bourbon”. Tennessee legislators are considering a proposal that would require any whiskey labeled as “Tennessee Whiskey” or “Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey” to meet the federal standards for Bourbon and use charcoal filtering.
35 Maple Street will also be expanding its Masterson’s line later this year with the addition of a 12-year-old 100% wheat whisky and a 100% barley whisky. Both will come from the same Alberta distillery where Masterson’s Rye is produced. While Zeller has not confirmed the name of that distillery, it’s believed to be Highwood Distillers in Calgary. Zeller also confirmed that the company is moving forward with plans to build its own distillery, most likely in California. However, that facility would be used for different products and both Masterson’s and Bib & Tucker would be sourced from their current suppliers on a long-term basis.
Links: 35 Maple Street