Whiskey Nips: MB Roland Distillery
While the big boys of bourbon have been distilling great tasting bourbon for many years, there are a few craft distilleries on my radar that are doing things that make them unique. One of these distilleries is MB Roland. It was built on an old Amish farm in Pembroke, KY, in 2009 by husband and wife, Paul & Merry Beth. They set out to be the Kentucky’s first grain to glass distillery.
What makes them unique is the grains that they use, as well as distillation. The corn that they use is food grade white corn, not just some bulk feed corn. This would cost the larger distilleries millions of dollars to use, but for a distillery the size of MB Roland, the cost to use higher grade grains is something they can use to their advantage.
The bourbon that they are putting out is completely uncut and unfiltered. This may not sound any different than let’s say, Booker’s, but they are not even adding water before barreling their distillate. This is because they distill only to around 110 proof, and then put that straight into the barrel.
Most bourbons are distilled above 125 proof and get water added to them before barreling to bring the proof to 125 to meet the requirements of bourbon. Then adding water again after aging to bring it down to bottle at 90-115 proof. This method of low proof distillation imparts a ton of flavor into their bourbon, as well as their rye, because there is not water added. I was really impressed with a single barrel of their straight bourbon and can’t wait to try their rye.