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Baltimore’s Old Line Spirits Debuts Its American Single Malt Whiskey

Old Line Spirits is a young whiskey distillery just getting off the ground in Baltimore, Maryland. The dream of two former naval flight officers, it is already out the gate with an American single malt that’s courtesy of another former distillery from across the country.

Old Line, started by Mark McLaughlin and Arch Watkins, got a leg up on other craft whiskey outfits not by acquiring barrels from the likes of MGP, but rather by acquisition of a fellow craft distillery itself. That is to say, McLaughlin and Watkins met a few years back and, as they began to learn the ropes of distilling met Bob Stilnovich, a founder of Golden Distillery out of Washington. Known for being an early pioneer of American single malts themselves, Stilnovich and his team let the Old Line folks cut their teeth for awhile under their tutelage.

Old Line Spirits
Old Line American Single Malt Whiskey (image via Old Line Spirits)

Once complete, the young duo actually ended up taking possession of Golden as well, including distilling equipment and “about two years worth of supply produced by Golden Distillery that will be rebranded under the Old Line brand,” according to the Baltimore Business Journal.

Fast forward to now, and the Old Line team, while still finalizing setting up a permanent distillery location of their own, have just put to market Old Line American Single Malt Whiskey. It is, according to Old Line, “made entirely of American barley that is grown and malted in the Pacific Northwest [and then] distilled in copper and … aged in new, charred American White Oak casks.” It has been bottled at 86 proof and is pricing around $50.

As Old Line moves forward in production of its own newer spirit, they told me, at least part of it initially will be made by Middle West Spirits out of Ohio. The folks there, in the spirit of distilling cooperation, are helping McLaughlin and Watkins upgrade their distilling equipment to allow them to “produce our whiskey much cheaper than we can make it.”

Looking at the Old Line whiskey line up, there also appear to be cask strength and peated versions in the works as well, likely again from existing Golden stock.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the former founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award-winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y globally. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert, and judge, he has written extensively about the subject, been interviewed in various media outlets, and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions.

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