“And, here we are, going into our fourth year making whiskey, and having an absolute blast,” Brown said.
There are 13 barrels of Jimmy Red bourbon aging for release after May 2023, the four-year mark. New oak barrels are sourced from Gainesville Cooperage, the only cooperage in Georgia. While Doc Brown’s bourbon is aging, the company also makes bourbon creams. Each flavor — butter pecan, coffee and peppermint mocha — is made with bourbon that has been aged for two years.
Brown and Dockweiler grow the non-genetically modified organism corn on their 10-acre farm, as well as 20 acres they rent from a friend, using only organic methods. There are numerous bat houses around the property, for both pollination and fighting corn earworms. They also brought in beehives, and a beekeeper to manage them.
“Even though corn is wind-pollinated, we brought in bees to help with it,” Brown said. After doing that, their second crop yield increased by 30%, both in the size of the ears and the number of kernels. In addition to buying bees, they also planted pollinator shrubs, to attract bees and bats.
Once the corn matures from yellow to deep red, it is harvested and ground to a consistency somewhere between cornmeal and grits, to carry the rich, sweet flavor to the whiskey.
The corn is trucked to Dillard, to be distilled in a handmade copper still. R.M. Rose Distillery has “good water,” Brown said, adding that Sudderth “dug a deep well,” and the limestone-filtered water is from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and doesn’t need any treatment.
“That matters,” she said. “It’s the secret ingredient in Kentucky bourbon, the same limestone ridge.”
But, without good grains, Brown said, “you are not going to get a quality bourbon.” Their bourbon’s mash bill is a secret, but it has a high mix of corn, as well as locally grown rye.
Their butter pecan bourbon cream, made with pecans grown by a local farmer, pays homage to Dockweiler’s family, who also grew the nuts, a Georgia favorite.
While you wait on Doc Brown’s straight bourbon, the three varieties of bourbon cream (39-proof, 750-milliliter bottles for $34.99) are available at retailers in Georgia. Find out more at docbrownfarm.com.
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