We often don’t think of rice as a grain type which can be used in whiskey but there are, in fact, a handful of distilleries trying their hand with this. One of those is Louisiana-based Atelier Vie and its newly debuted Barrel-Aged Riz.
Barrel-Aged Riz is described by the distillery as having been aged in an oak barrel for one year and one month. The idea for it being an elder rice whiskey versus other grain choices draws in part upon a key inspiration distiller Jedd Haas had which got him into spirits making in the first place:
I first heard about rice spirits being produced in Asia years ago; given the abundance of Louisiana’s rice crop, it seemed like an obvious resource for making a new style of American whiskey.
Atelier Vie mashed and pot stilled its first batches of the unaged Riz in 2012 before releasing some of it “moonshine style” last year. They decided to hold some back though for the aged expression, putting some to barrel in September of 2013. Said barrel was emptied earlier this month before being cut down to a bottling strength of 90 proof.
The first batch of this rice whiskey is said to be available only at the distillery for a price of $60 per 750 ml bottle. Only a few dozen were made for this initial release, so give them a call before you head over to make sure it is still in stock.
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...