In a world of abundance, life can be filled with really tough choices. Skiing or snowboarding? Nachos or wings? Beer or whiskey? Choosing is difficult and can really put us in quite a quandary. I mean why should anyone be stuck with the unenviable task of deciding on nachos or wings at apres-ski? Bottom line is they are all good and no one should have to give anything that good up. Now, for us craft beer and whiskey loving easterners, we don’t have to. Thanks to Mad River Distillers of Warren, Vermont and 14th Star Brewing Company of St. Albans, Vermont who have teamed up for the third annual release of Mad River's Hopscotch Vermont Single Malt Whiskey we can experience the best of both worlds in one incredible spirit.
The collaboration whiskey distilled by Mad River from a wash of 14th Star's Tribute Double IPA is the perfect way to lift your spirits this holiday season. “As soon as Mad River approached us about collaborating on a whiskey, we quickly agreed that Tribute would be the perfect beer for this project!" said Dan Sartwell, Brewmaster at 14th Star. Barrel-aged in charred American oak barrels for over two years in Mad River's rickhouse and bottled at 92 proof, the result is a unique blend of the malty notes that make whiskey special and the distinct flavor of the hops from the beer. "Our tried and true Tribute Double IPA has been masterfully transformed by Mad River Distillers into this spectacular spirit that lays before you.” Hopscotch is a whiskey beer geek's dream come true.
If you have ever had 14th Star tribute, you know that it delivers a punch of hoppy goodness, a flavor that continues to shine in the whiskey as well. “Given that Tribute is a double IPA, I'm not surprised that the taste is so bold,” said Alex Hilton, general manager and head distiller at Mad River Distillers. “Hops are a potent ingredient, and it makes sense that the flavor would carry right through the distilling process.”
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14th Star Brewing Company's story is as unique as the whiskey itself. Started in 2012 by veterans Steve Gagnon and Matt Kehaya from a business plan drafted on the back of a notebook while the two served together in Afghanistan, they have grown considerably and now offer six highly sought after core beers and many other limited edition releases. Their beer is only part of what makes them so special. 14th Star also uses portions of their proceeds to support regional charities and will continue to do so with their Mad River Distiller’s collaboration. A donation from the sales of each bottle of Hopscotch will be made by Mad River Distillers to the Josh Pallotta Fund, which provides support and services for returning veterans and their families.
The limited-edition 2018 Hopscotch has been released and is currently available throughout the Northeast. So if you have someone in your life that is both a beer geek and a whiskey nerd, don't try to choose for them. Make them happy this holiday season with the best of both worlds. It is sure to lift their spirits.