Michigan probably isn't one of the places you might associate with whiskey, thing is craft distilling is a growing business in all corners of the state continuing from a boom which began in 2008 and is still growing. Being a bit of a whiskey drinker myself, I thought it was high time I took to trying some of Michigan's own produce.
The first was very close to home. Just a couple of miles away in Ferndale is the Valentine Distilling Company, while probably more known for it's premium and award winning vodka, the company was the first to begin operating as a distillery in the area since prohibition. Detroit's automobile heritage is all over the bottle - from the whiskey's Woodward name - a historic road between Detroit and Pontiac to it's eye catching and bold label - something Valentine always does right. While Woodward is technically a bourbon it's made from over 50% corn with rye and malted barley making up the rest. It tastes more like a rye whiskey, it's as sweet as one too. Aged for four years in a maple syrup infused American oak cask, it's a lovely sweet, rye, cinnamon tasting whiskey. A lot of people cast aside whiskey because of the burning throat sensation (for want of a better description there I must add) but in fact there is none.
Serve it straight on the rocks and you can't go wrong - it's currently my favourite. Made in a limited edition, Woodward Whiskey will set you back about $37 and it's well worth every cent - make sure to check out their distribution map if it's in a state near you!
Another whiskey from a little further north is from the Traverse City Whiskey Company, from you guessed it, Traverse City. Infused with cherries (this area of Michigan is big with cherry harvesting and festivals don't ya know) this American Cherry Bourbon actually has the hand labelled batch number, in my instance numero 001, I'm not sure if they makes me super lucky or not but there you go. As you would hope there is a lovely cherry scent to the bourbon although it somewhat is lacking in the cherry taste, there's a hint it's there but nothing more. It's very mellow, it doesn't scream cherry flavoring nor does it scream a rye spicy flavor either. It's tempered and cool and would, I imagine go perfectly well with ice cream and cherry pie, or just as a mixer in your cola if that's your thing. According to their website, the Traverse City Whiskey Co., seem to have big plans ahead hopefully this whiskey is a sign of things to come and I certainly wouldn't turn down sampling their straight Whiskey either.
This is the cheaper whiskey of the pair, a 750ml bottle setting you back a decent $29. If you happen to live here in the Mitten this whiskey seems pretty easy to come across, they also have a presence in Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Florida and California, again check out their retail finder for more information.
You can always click back to check out my other whiskey recommendations here if you're new to whiskey or fancy trying something different.
Do you have any favorite locally made food and drinks?