Arcane Distilling Debuts Whiskey Made From Imperial Stout

Arcane Distilling, known for use of its vacuum-distilling process, recently unveiled a new whiskey made from Imperial Stout beer.

The new Arcane Imperial, according to those behind it, aims to separate itself from other whiskeys made from distiller’s beer in that they take more of a beer froward approach to production. The distillery, helmed by King’s County Distilling alum Phil Morgan and beer entrepreneur and CEO Brian Thompson, tries to “make the most flavorful craft beer possible to produce the most flavorful whiskey possible.

“Using only premium malted barley and hops – the same ingredients you would find at a craft brewery – and fermenting with a particularly flavor-forward yeast called kviek, they brew beers that not only transform into great whiskey, but also taste great on their own.”

Arcane Imperial

Arcane Distilling, known for use of its vacuum-distilling process, recently unveiled a new whiskey made from Imperial Stout beer. (image via Arcane Distilling)

Believing traditional distillation would all but destroy many of the aromas and flavors of beer due to them being “delicate and volatile,” they instead distill under vacuum as they find in this situation “alcohol evaporates at a much lower temperature. Arcane’s custom-designed vacuum still operates at room temperature, allowing the system to preserve and collect those volatile aroma and flavor compounds.

“Further, Arcane’s still is equipped with three auxiliary condensers, one of which operates at -30 degrees Celsius, and is designed to capture exceptionally flavorful but extremely volatile compounds that cannot be captured in a traditional still.”

On top of all of this, in finishing the whiskeys, they are rested “in large oak foudres to add mouthfeel and warm, spice notes, without overwhelming the beer flavors and aromas with too much wood character.”

“Arcane Imperial’s vacuum distillation process captures and preserves the exact malt flavors and aromas of our Imperial Stout, delivering a complex and flavorful American whiskey unlike any other,” said Thompson in a prepared statement. “It is infinitely more complex than other whiskeys and a perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.”

The result with Arcane Imperial, based upon information from the distillery, “is a whiskey with rich, dark chocolate aroma, with notes of caramel and toffee. Dried fruit, subtle smokey phenols, caramel, Dutch-process cocoa, roasted malts and orange peel appear on the palate, accompanied by a bold, rich and complex finish.”

It is bottled at 83 proof (41.5% ABV) and retails for around $46 for 750ml. The whiskey is available via direct shipping to nearly 30 states via Arcane’s site and also on retail shelves in New York & New Jersey.


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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...