Sagamore Spirit is getting ready to ship its first bottles of rye - Technical.ly Baltimore

Business

Apr. 29, 2016 11:49 am

Sagamore Spirit is getting ready to ship its first bottles of rye

The Kevin Plank-backed company is set for a May 13 release. Here's how the whiskey is prepared.

These cases are ready to be packed.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Whiskey came pouring forth from an oak barrel at City Garage on Wednesday. It’ll be a few more weeks (May 13, to be precise) before it will be flowing into glasses at local bars, but the team behind Sagamore Spirit aimed to show that they’re ready to start putting the rye out into the world.

It’s been a long time coming.

“We started filling the first barrels in 2012,” said Sagamore Spirit President Brian Treacy. Looking laid back with a soul patch, he’s a fitting face for a Kevin Plank-backed company that has to rely on patience instead of speed.

Until a new distillery in Port Covington is complete, the City Garage space will be the temporary home of the operations that take the rye from the barrel to the bottle.

The device that takes the whiskey out of the bottle is called a barrel trough. A big drill punctures the barrel, and the machine flips it over. Then the whiskey flows out through a small hole.

Brian Treacy mans the barrel trough.

Brian Treacy mans the barrel trough. Whiskey empties from a small hole on the bottom. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

It leaves some remnants behind, which doubles as evidence that the barrel was charred prior to being filled. Without that char, the whiskey would be clear liquid.

After the whiskey flowed.

Char remained on the bottom of the trough after the whiskey flowed. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

From there, the proof is cut with spring water that is trucked in every few days from Plank’s Sagamore farm in Baltimore County.

“For us to drive 22 miles one way to grab spring water is something I don’t see anyone else doing,” Treacy said.  That cuts the proof down to 83, so named after the interstate that flows through the middle of Baltimore. He also said Sagamore takes a different approach than most by blending two mash bills.

Advertisement

Bottling on the line. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Bottling on the line. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

To finish off production, it’s bottled, labelled and packed in cases. People have to man each of these steps. Treacy said a bottle will retail for about $40.

Label it. (photo by Stephen Babcock)

Label it. (photo by Stephen Babcock)

The idea behind the product is to put Maryland back on the map for rye, which was once a booming industry in the state (think Pikesville Rye). Along with the distillery that’s meant to attract visitors, they see the product as smooth and sippable, or easily combined in a cocktail. The early batch indicates that’s what they’ve produced.

As it goes out in limited supply in a few weeks, drinkers will have a chance to decide for themselves. Details on exactly where it will be available are based on the distributor’s plans, but we can assume it will be the drink of choice at Kevin Plank’s Preakness party.

You must appreciate accurate, relevant and productive community journalism.  Support this sort of work from professional reporters with seasoned editors.  Become a Technical.ly member for $12 per month
Organizations: Sagamore Ventures
People: Kevin Plank
-30-
JOIN THE COMMUNITY, BECOME A MEMBER
Already a member? Sign in here

Advertisement

Baltimore biotech company partners with JuiceBot on food safety

Meet the Baltimore entrepreneur who earned a finalist spot at the first Lyft Pitch

A 3D printing hub in Aberdeen looks to spread manufacturing advances

SPONSORED

Baltimore

Why a modern office matters for Asymmetrik’s growing culture

Baltimore, MD 21201

14 West

Business Analyst

Apply Now
Baltimore, MD 21201

14 West

Solutions Specialist

Apply Now
Baltimore, MD

SmartLogic

Developer

Apply Now

Sunday: Free ice cream and community conversations in Station North

How thinking smaller led to big growth for a Maryland boxed water startup

Manufacturing innovation center planned in Harford County

SPONSORED

Baltimore

SmartLogic propels digital transformation aboard Baltimore Water Taxi

Baltimore, MD 21201

Agora Financial, an Agora Company

Front End Web Developer

Apply Now
Baltimore, MD 21201

Agora Financial

Email Deliverability Specialist

Apply Now
Annapolis Junction, MD

Asymmetrik

FULL-STACK DEVELOPER

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Baltimore

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!