American By Nino Kilgore-Marchetti / September 16, 2020 Former MGP master distiller Greg Metze left the extremely well known distillery back in 2016, turning up a year or so later at Colorado distillery start up Old Elk. There Metze was given the reins to put together a high quality whiskey program that was initially centered around a blended bourbon whiskey. Fast forward to now and that one offering has now expanded to four. The three new Old Elk whiskeys, according to those behind it, include the Wheated Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Straight Wheat Whiskey and Straight Rye Whiskey. Starting with the rye expression first, it is easy to say this is a core competency for Metze, given that durning his tenure at MGP he is said to have created the equivalent over 280 million bottles of the stuff. The Old Elk version was created when he “allocated a limited amount of his favorite rye to age for five years” after being distilled from a mash bill of 95% rye and 5% malted barley. Old Elk’s whiskey line up (image via Old Elk) With regards to the Wheat expression, it was aged five years also and heralds from a mash bill of 95% soft red winter wheat and 5% malted barley. Keeping in the wheated area, the third new expression, the Wheated Straight Bourbon, is noted to be “nearly three times higher in wheat than the norm.” It too is aged five years, with a mash bill that’s 51% corn, 45% wheat and 4% malted barley. “Joining up with Old Elk gave me the opportunity to craft my own custom mash bills and bring smooth and easy premium whiskeys to market,” said Metze in a prepared statement. “After creating our flagship bourbon, I thought ‘what else can I distill that whiskey fans will go crazy for?’ “Well, I personally love favorites, challenges and variation, so I decided it was time to produce a 95 percent Rye Whiskey (a favorite), a 95 percent Wheat Whiskey (a challenge), and a 45 percent Wheated Bourbon (a variation). I used our signature ‘Slow Cut’ proofing process, where I was able to preserve the delicate smells and tastes that add to the balance and integrity of our distillates and created these new and enticing whiskeys for you. “This is part of my legacy and I wouldn’t want my name on anything else. For me, I now have a different whiskey that I can sip every day of the week and I hope our fans are excited about the range of selection from Old Elk.” All three whiskeys, of which you’ll find limited official tasting notes for below, are available now nationwide. Old Elk Wheated Straight Bourbon Whiskey (around $65 per 750 ml bottle): to the nose, it brings the classic aromas of oak, vanilla caramel, and a bit of amaretto. At first sip, there are sweet and savory notes of fruit with a pleasant warm finish. The finish warms gently with no burn, and leaves you with a feeling that sometimes dreams do come true. Old Elk Straight Wheat Whiskey (around $65 per 750 ml bottle): the aroma is bright with hints of honey, stone fruits, vanilla, and oak followed by flavors of peach and dried fig, leading to a charmingly smooth yet bold finish. Old Elk Straight Rye Whiskey (around $90 per 750 ml bottle): has a strong fragrance of honey, oak and black pepper with the taste of vanilla, orange peel, and dried fig resulting in a velvety and vibrant mouthfeel.