Acadiana distillery J.T. Meleck Distillers has launched a full batch of its rice whiskey just in time for the holidays, the company announced, after a small batch of the whiskey sold out last year.
The whiskey, which is made from 100 percent rice, is harvested, distilled and bottled in Louisiana. It’s the second rice-based spirit released by J.T. Meleck, along with its rice vodka.
“With our new American Rice Whiskey, we are offering our best, ready for you to share with family and friends this holiday season,” said Mike Frugé, founder and owner of Frugé Spirits, which owns J.T. Meleck. “We were patient in our process to release a rice whiskey that was the best it could be, authentic to our Louisiana brand and true to our family’s story. We’re giving what we have directly to you; we hope you enjoy it.”
The distillery released its Founder’s Small Batch Edition of the whiskey last year. It sold out.
Whiskey is usually made from a grain like barley, corn, rye or wheat. The company said it’s fairly unusual for an American distillery to use rice as part of its mash, and no U.S. brand has made a whiskey entirely from rice at a commercial level.
But like other American whiskeys, the J.T. Meleck is aged for nearly five years in 53-gallon oak barrels. It has an amber color and an aroma with characteristics of vanilla crème cake and white chocolate pudding. In terms of taste and texture, it’s smooth with hints of butterscotch, caramel, crème Brulee, and dark chocolate with a bit of spice, the distillery said.
With the full batch’s release, the whiskey will be available year-round at select retailers throughout Louisiana and Arkansas.
The whiskey is 96-proof and 48% alcohol by volume. A bottle generally sells for around $47.
Fred Minnick, a whiskey reviewer and Ascot Awards founder and chief taster, said in a J.T. Meleck news release that the whiskey is an excellent choice for any whiskey lover.
“This is one of the more fascinating new whiskies I have tasted, not just all year but in my career…if you are a whiskey lover, this is a bottle that you want to hunt,” Minnick said in the release. “If you are a bourbon lover. I think there are enough sweet notes in here…I think that you would love it.”
J.T. Meleck Distillers began in 1896 when John T. Meleck started growing rice on 20 acres of South Louisiana marshland. Five generations later, the family is still growing rice – and now crawfish – on the same 20 acres owned by “Uncle John.”