Today is a good day for lovers of the brown. Locally based spirits company Crooked Water is launching its first bottle, Kings Point Bourbon. Heather Manley is the lady behind the booze and I can tell you from personal experience, the girl knows and loves a good bourbon.
Kings Point is her company's first bottle, and is made in collaboration with Madison's craft distillery Yahara Bay Distillers (who also work with the Bittercube boys on their Modest Vodka). The whiskey is a 2-year-old bourbon that has been finished for six months in port barrels from a 100-plus-year-old winery in the Doruo Valley of Portugal. I got to sip a bit yesterday and it was light and smooth for a 90 proof, and more flavors opened up as the glass lingered. I found the port on the nose, and more came through when I added one ice cube. This is a nice bottle.
Manley's first batch is starting with 383 bottles, but she's already at work on batch No. 2. Going by the name of Jane Doe for now, this bourbon is currently finishing in sherry barrels from Jerez in Spain. In fact, the finishing part is what Manley is most excited about. "We're looking at finishing vodka in a unique way, and seeing what gin in the port/bourbon barrels does." In fact she's looking for space in town right now to create a finishing room so she can be closer to her booze. "I don't know if we'll ever do the distilling, I really value the collaboration we have going with Nick Quint at Yahara, but I'd love to set up a place for the barrels with a tasting room."
All Crooked Water's spirits will be named with some significant reference to Minnesota: Kings Point is a part of Lake Minnetoka that reaches into Minnetrista (which in the Dakota language means crooked water and is a place where Manley owns land).
Check out Manley with DeRusha on WCCO this morning, and look for her bourbon in stores and bars starting this week.