Triticale Whiskey kicks off new Distillers Reserve series

The Snohomish distillery has unveiled a new triple distilled 100-percent Triticale Whiskey. (Aaron Swaney photo)

Skip Rock kicked off a new Distillers Reserve series with the release of its triple distilled 100-percent Triticale Whiskey last weekend. The Snohomish distillery released about 500 bottles for sale at its location only.

“They’re going to go fast,” owner and head distiller Ryan Hembree said.

Hembree said the series is a way for the distillery to release experimental pet projects that he and associate distiller Brian Roys come up without throughout the year. He said there could be four to five releases per year, referencing three specifically in an Asian Pear Eau de Vie, Skip Rock’s Apple Liqueur rested in whiskey barrels and Nocino aged in gin barrels.

“We love to be experimental,” Hembree said. “We’re always trying to think how we can make something better; let things go a little longer in the barrel.”

Deeper penetration into a broader market has given Skip Rock the flexibility to start releasing a Distillers Reserve series. Hembree pointed to getting its products in all 50 QFC locations and on the shelves of local restaurants like Snohomish’s Oxford Saloon as a turning point for the craft distillery.

Eventually, Skip Rocks wants to begin a Distillers Club that would give members early access to specialty releases.

Triticale, a wheat/rye hybrid, has been used in Skip Rock’s Rye Whiskey since Hembree discovered the grain as he served as the agriculture coordinator for Snohomish County. Just 18 percent of the rye whiskey is made up of triticale, so the 100-percent version is a shift.

“I think it really has single malt characteristics,” said Hembree of the Triticale Whiskey. “It’s peaty and smoky, but has a nice long finish that ends with a mild sweetness.”

Only two other distilleries in the country use triticale, which was developed in Scotland in the 19th century, in their whiskeys: Washington’s Dry Fly Distillery and Tennessee’s Corsair Distillery. Skip Rock gets its tritcale from a farm in Othello.

Triticale Whiskey Distillers Reserve

Sold only at Skip Rock Distillers; open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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