Published June 20th, 2017 at 6:00 AM
In the true spirit of craft, Tom’s Town Distilling Company head distiller Rob Vossmeyer has created a Belgian quadrupel-based whiskey with the help of Torn Label Brewing Company. Available in limited quantity, the unique whiskey is part of The Pendergast Machine series.
Vossmeyer envisioned The Pendergast Machine series, named after “Boss” Tom Pendergast’s political organization, as a means to collaborate with other distilleries, brewers and winemakers. The one-of-a-kind spirits began with the series’ first quarterly release: Tom’s Town Corruption Gin finished in oak barrels.
Machine No. 2: Brewer’s Series/Torn Label is a whiskey distilled from Torn Label’s seasonal Quadjillo Belgian Quad brewed with guajillo peppers. The whiskey was aged in new American chinquapin oak barrels made by McGinnis Wood Products in Cuba, Missouri. After barrel-aging 11 months at Tom’s Town, the batch was packaged in fewer than 500 375-ml. bottles
“I was familiar with Torn Label’s beer. They are a matter of blocks away from us,” said Vossmeyer. “I met with [co-owners] Travis [Moore] and Rafi [Chaudry] to discuss the concept of making a distillate with their beer and then aging it. In turn, they could brew another batch and barrel age it in our PRG barrels.”
Quadjillo’s bold character made it a strong candidate to undergo the transformation. Machine No. 2 was purposely created as a malt whiskey. Vossmeyer declined to share details of the proprietary production process.
“Travis worked very hard to create all the flavors in the beer and I wouldn’t want to waste any of it by stripping that out of the spirit,” said Vossmeyer. “It became clear to me that the Quadjillo was not only a unique beer with a higher ABV, but it was also a standout product for them.”
The whiskey is described as having “a bright citrus, jasmine and vanilla bean nose, and the palate is pepper, cinnamon, honey, caramelized sugar and hops.”
“I think the high esters of the quad translate superbly,” noted Vossmeyer. “After that it has a wonderful malty backbone, spices and the pepper and hops come through on the finish. I believe the citrus comes from the hops in the beer. The vanilla bean and caramelized sugar come from the barrel. The clover honey and cinnamon [are] from elements in the beer as well.”
The distillery and brewery plan to co-release the spirit and beer for concurrent release. Check calendar listings below for details on the release party.
June Summer Beer Releases
With summer in full swing, here’s a look at some of June’s current and upcoming beer releases designed to quench thirst. Releases subject to change. Check with your local brewery.
Cinder Block Brewery (110 E 18th Avenue, North Kansas City, Missouri)
Hop Maven 8 – Imperial Red IPA (end of June, taproom and limited market release) has bold hop character with piney, tropical, and grapefruit attributes that carry into light caramel and roasted notes. Missouri Mule Cider (6-percent ABV, taproom only) is a hard apple cider with hints of ginger and lime. American Wheat IPA (end of June, 6.5-percent ABV, taproom and limited market release) has tropical, Jolly Rancher, and apricot characteristics.
Crane Brewing (6515 Railroad Street, Raytown, Missouri)
Grapefruit Gose (end of June, seasonal, distribution in Kansas City and MO/KS territory) is tangy and salty with deep citrus notes. Kumquat Weiss (end of June, seasonal, distribution in Kansas City area) is bright, citrusy, and juicy. Dry-Hopped Orange Gose (limited, draft-only Kansas City market release) is even more tangy than standard Orange Gose with broader hop fruit and citrus characteristics.
Free State Brewing Company (636 Massachusetts, Lawrence, Kansas)
Post Rock Pilsner (summer seasonal, available in 12-ounce bottles and on draft in Missouri and Kansas) is a hoppy continental pilsner with spicy/citrusy German Saphir and Crystal hops, and fine German malt character. Match Made in Helles (mid-June, available on draft at BRGR, Taco Republic, Gram & Dun, and Urban Table), a collaboration with Bread & Butter Concepts, is a classic German helles with soft malt profile and clean, crisp finish. Blood Orange Radler (available now through September, in Missouri and Kansas) is a thirst-quenching light lager mixed with housemade blood orange soda.
Red Crow Brewing Company (20561 S Lone Elm Road, Spring Hill, Kansas)
Loretta (now through August, taproom and limited market release) is a lager with a soft round palate, light fruity sweetness, and mild bitterness.
Rock and Run Brewery and Pub (110 E Kansas Street, Liberty, Missouri)
Try the Hilltop Hops Peach Wheat (4.5-percent ABV, taproom only, special release), an American wheat made with peaches. The subtle stone fruit’s flavor emerges on the finish. Also on tap, B-Weisser (3.5-percent ABV, taproom, seasonal) is a take on Berliner Weiss that is tart and refreshing for summer.
Miami Creek Brewing Company (14226 NW County Road 14001, Drexel, Missouri)
Farmhouse Wheat Ale (6.2-percent, seasonal, taproom only), a full-bodied modified Hefeweizen with notes of banana, honey, and a slight citrus finish. The wheat ale was brewed with honey from Coopers Honey Farm and a late addition Citra hop. Strawber’rye (mid- to late June, taproom only, limited release), a Strawberry Rye Ale with spicy rye flavor and notes of strawberry and slight citrus. Strawberry IPA (mid- to late June, taproom only, limited release) with strawberry and melon flavors and aroma.
McCoy’s Public House (4057 Pennsylvania Avenue)
Ursa Minor Imperial Brown Ale (4 p.m., June 21 release, 9-percent ABV, limited release, taproom only) has bold coffee and chocolate notes with subtle biscuit malt character. Head brewer Morgan Fetters brewed seven barrels of this high-demand beer that won a 2015 GABF Gold Medal. Watermelon IPA (mid-June, 6.9-percent ABV, seasonal, limited taproom only release) is the house Newcombs IPA with an infusion of fresh watermelon puree. It’s an old-school IPA with a focus on a solid malt backbone and Chinook hops. Peach Wheat (mid-June, seasonal, limited taproom only release) is the house wheat beer with a peach puree “that smells like a bag of ripe peaches.”
Kansas City Bier Company (310 W 79th Street)
Doppel Alt (taproom) has a copper color, toasted and caramel malt flavors, assertive bitter finish, and citrus aroma. Gose (5.1-percent ABV, taproom only) is a traditional German style with added salt and coriander. Made with 60-percent wheat malt so the gose is hazy in appearance. Pils (5-percent ABV, taproom with June distribution throughout Kansas City, limited release), made with only German Pilsner malt and Hallertau Mittelfruh hops. Pale in color with a crisp finish, this pils pours with a full, thick head that laces glassware beautifully. Kolsch (late June, 4.7-percent ABV, draft only, taproom with distribution throughout Kansas City, limited release) is made with 90-percent pilsner malt and a touch of wheat for a slight haze effect. Balanced hops and malt, brewed with the same yeast strain used in Cologne, Germany.
Fringe Beerworks (224 SE Douglas Street, Lee’s Summit, Missouri)
Tight Rope Tart and Tight Rope Pineapple Tart (taproom, limited release) are Berliner Weisse styles.
Torn Label Brewing Company (1708 Campbell Street)
Tongue-Lash (5.1-percent ABV, 22-oz. bottles and draft at taproom and Kansas City area distribution), a mouth-puckering yet refreshing hoppy sour ale with tart, acidic qualities from kettle souring and tropical, zesty Citra hops that create a juicy sour mango profile. High Tai East Coast IPA (7.2-percent, 12oz can 4-packs and draft at taproom, limited Kansas City area distribution), a dank and cloudy Mai Tai-inspired IPA brewed with lime zest, cherry juice,orange peel, and New World hops for tropical character.
Double Shift Brewing Company (412 E 18th Street)
Peach Bow Saison (taproom), based on its flagship saison, is brewed with Mosaic and Glacier hops with added peach, apricot, and pink peppercorn. Strawberry Field Trip (6.9-percent ABV, taproom, limited release) is a kettle-soured beer brewed with lime peel, strawberry, and mint to yield a fruity, mojito-like tart beer that’s effervescent and refreshing.
The Big Rip Brewing Company (216 E 9th Ave, North Kansas City, Missouri)
Peach Honeysuckle Wit and Vanilla Bean Sweet Brown (taproom only, limited release) were tapped for the brewery’s anniversary party in early June.
Boulevard Brewing Company/Boulevard Tours and Rec Center (2534 Madison Avenue)
Recent releases include Foeder Project #2 (Greater Kansas City in 750-ml. bottles) and Love Child No. 8, a Flanders-style red blended sour ale (Greater Kansas City on draft and in 750-ml bottles). Check the current taplist at the Tour and Rec Center’s Beer Hall for what’s pouring on draft lately.
— Pete Dulin writes about food trends for Flatland and is the author of the “KC Ale Trail.” Follow @FlatlandKC and #TapList on Twitter for more food news and trends.