Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Whiskey Tasting and Liberty Pole Spirits

For those that follow history, July commemorates the height of the whiskey tax that took place in what is now Washington, Pennsylvania and the rebellion that arose from it. My traditional Celtic music group, Wayward Companions, are often called upon to perform at such events that commemorate and reenact the historic event on which the farmers making whiskey to have as a means of trade for goods of survival was now being taxed by the government. Now, the governments reasoning for the tax was to use it as a way to compensate veterans of the revolution. On the farmers' end, however, they were barely making enough to survive and for many, having a bartering system with the whiskey was the difference between being able to eat or not. As a result, the farmers rose up, rebelling against the tax and forming the Mingo Creek Society. The society set up liberty poles as a way of demonstratng their unity.
One of Wayward Companions' most recent gigs was the whiskey tasting event at Woodville Plantation, a plantation owned by John Neville, a man widely respected but maligned when he was among those supporting the whiskey tax. In response, rebels torched much of Neville's property and some government officials were taken and made subject to punishments such as tarring and feathering. The whiskey tasting event was the start of several events that are to take place in Washington, PA throughout the month of July, and Liberty Pole Spirits was the distillery that provided the whiskey.

Liberty Pole Spirits is a whiskey distillery in the heart of Washington, PA, set up to not only provide good whiskey, but preserve the legacy of the Whiskey Rebellion and Mingo Creek Society. After Wayward Companions performed, we did get to partake in the whiskey tasting and I tried three different kinds:

Peated Bourbon

For the rye whiskey, a winter rye is used with a touch of wheat to soften the rye-spice ever so sslightly. The rye spice is still quite prominent in the pallet and nasal passage, as I experienced when I tasted it.
As for the bourbon (I personally prefer bourbon in general), the distillery refers to it as one of their flagship products. For the bourbon, they use the heirloom Bloody Butcher variety of corn, a variety grown in the Washington, PA area during the Whiskey Rebellion. It is pot distilled and aged for between 9 and 15 months. As bourbon is my preference, I tend to be on the picky side when it comes to this particular spirit and I will say that Liberty Pole did not disappoint at all with this one. In fact, it was among the best bourbon I ever tried.
Now, with bourbon under my belt, they were able to convince me into trying their peated bourbon. Peated bourbon combines American Scotches with American Bourbons. Like the bourbon, they use the Bloody Butcher corn, but then combine it with a heavily peated barley. I would say that I did like the peated bourbon even more so than the regular bourbon and could definitely taste its smokey and sweet notes. I very much enjoyed it.

I highly recommend checking out Liberty Pole Spirits if you happen to take a trip to the Washington, Pennsylvania area, especially throughout the month of July when all the Whiskey Rebellion Festivities will be taking place. Liberty Pole has a great website that offers even more detail on their whiskey varieties and distilling process, along with an option to take a tour of their distillery for a very reasonable price. They also have their own version of the Mingo Creek Society (which I plan on looking in to joining).

Liberty Pole Spirits website

And don't forget to show them love on social media:

Liberty Pole Spirits on Facebook

Liberty Pole Spirits on Instagram

Liberty Pole Spirits on Twitter

And last but not least, don't forget to check out Wayward Companions at The Whiskey Rebellion Festival on July 7

Cheers and Huzzah!

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