The American Distilling Institute, one of the primary voices for the craft distilling movement here in the United States, recently wrapped up its 2015 conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Tied to this were the judging and awarding of craft sprits, including whiskey. One of those who stood out in the rye whiskey category, aged less than one year, was a tiny distillery out of Florida that’s suddenly been put into the spotlight for its home grown product and the bronze award it won in its field.
NJoy Spirits, according to the Hernando County Office of Business Development, produces a young rye whiskey known as Wild Buck American Rye Whiskey. It is made from what’s described as “100 percent all-natural local and homegrown rye grain” which, noted the Tampa Bay Times, is just one of the many ways in which this operation is about as hands on as it gets, right down to much of the handmade equipment used to make the whiskey. For example,
to control the winch that opens the lid on his cooking pots, Kevin [Goff] uses the remote from a garage door opener.
This McGyver style whiskey operation is the brainchild of Goff and his wife Natalie Goff. Their spirit, which was one of the standouts amongst a crowd of 457 entries in the Institute awards judging, is a 100 proof offering that’s created one batch at a time “in a hand-hammered copper still, [and then] matured in new American Oak charred barrels in the spring-fed cypress backwoods of coastal Hernando County within the heart of the Nature Coast.”
As this is a very small scale artisan distillery at this point, getting a hold of Wild Buck outside of NJoy’s local region may be a little difficult. You can always contact them for more information on availability of their whiskey. (UPDATE: It now looks as if it is available for purchase online for around $54 per bottle.)
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...