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Brooklyn’s Arcane Distilling’s New Whiskey Distilled From Craft Beer

Brooklyn’s Arcane Distilling just introduced its flagship whiskey, Arcane Alpha.

Available online to 30 states, this new American whiskey is distilled from craft beer in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Arcane Distilling, headed up by CEO Brian Thompson and Distiller Phil Morgan, touts the fact that it “lives at the intersection of beer and whiskey.”

Arcane Alpha
Arcane Alpha (image via Arcane Distilling)

The distiller explained in a statement that Arcane’s vacuum distillation process captures the intense malt flavors and hop aromas of beer, delivering complex flavors to their American whiskey.

Beginning with IPAs and stouts, Arcane’s whiskey retains the essence of the craft beer, which feature ripe, tropical flavors, notes of hops, and nutty malty aromas.

Arcane CEO Thompson said, “Though we’ve been building our technology and establishing our meticulous process for several years now, the launch of our flagship whiskey, Arcane Alpha, is a real milestone.”

“I’ve spent most of my career as a brewer and entrepreneur in the craft beer world, and to be part of the team that has brought this incredible new whiskey to market is extraordinarily gratifying,” he added. “Arcane has allowed me to combine my passions for both beer and whiskey to create something wholly its own: a celebration of the great flavors of beer, elevated and amplified for an unparalleled whiskey experience.”

He explained that Arcane’s approach to brewing differs greatly from a traditional whiskey distiller, where the goal is often to maximize the alcohol content in their “distiller’s beer.” Arcane seeks to make the most flavorful craft beer to produce the most flavorful whiskey possible.

They use malted barley and hops, the same ingredients found at a craft brewery, and ferment with a particularly flavor-forward yeast called Kviek.

Distiller Phil Morgan noted that because so many of the aromas and flavors of beer are delicate and volatile, traditional distillation would all but destroy them when boiling beer to evaporate the alcohol.

Under vacuum, however, alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature. Arcane’s custom-designed vacuum still, it is said, operates at room temperature, allowing the system to preserve and collect those volatile aroma and flavor compounds.

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

Arcane’s finishing process is designed to ensure the malt and fruity flavors are preserved and carry through to the final product while trying to avoid barrel waste.

Arcane’s new-make spirit rests in large oak vats to add mouthfeel, color, and warm, spice notes, without overwhelming the beer flavors and aromas with too much wood character.

Their new flagship whiskey, Arcane Alpha, is distilled from a triple IPA featuring citrusy hops. The distiller’s notes show that this whiskey has the aromas of Cascade and Mosaic hops, balanced by light malt notes and a mild oak finish.

It has tasting notes of citrus, red berries, and baking spice. Arcane Alpha clocks in at 93 proof (41.5% ABV) and has a suggested retail price of $45.99 for 750ml.

Arcane plans to open to the public in early 2023 following a full tasting room buildout. For now, the whiskey is available online.

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Gary Carter

Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether that be a novel project, a start-up, an organization, a fresh-face to the journalistic world, or even something as simple as a short story. A native Texan and a Pacific Northwest convert, he is a whiskey enthusiast who cut his teeth on it ... literally!

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