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Doc Wahl: American Single Malt Whiskey - Hatch Distilling Co.

Doc Wahl: American Single Malt Whiskey

It’s almost here — our very first whiskey fermented, distilled, and aged 100% on-site here in Egg Harbor. Just in time for your last minute holiday gifts, we’ll be releasing a single barrel of Batch #1 of our American Single Malt Whiskey. Crafted from three unique varieties of malted barley, this whiskey spent a minimum of 2 years aging in new American White Oak barrels. Supplies are limited, and to commemorate the occasion, each bottle from this first barrel will be signed by our owner, Chris Roedl, and head distiller, Caleb Despins. Bottles must be picked up between December 18 and Jan. 1, or supplies will be released back to the public. More whiskey from our barrel room will be coming soon, but don’t miss your chance to get your hands on Barrel #1! Enter your e-mail below and we’ll reserve your bottle today! Limit of 3 per person! Be sure to enter a quantity before you hit subscribe, and check your e-mail for confirmation!

Doc Who?

Known as the Godfather of Fermentation Science, Robert “Doc” Wahl was a pioneer in our industry, and for a brief time, a notorious Door County resident. Around the turn of the 20th century, he founded the Chicago Institute of Fermentology, which was on the cutting edge of the newly-understood science behind booze. In 1905 he proved that American 6-row malted barley was superior to European 2-row barley, earning the scorn of German Brewers as they begrudgingly verified his claims. He was such a fermentation expert, that he even was called in to settle a dispute between St. Louis and Chicago over sewage from the Chicago river making its way downriver, and thus affecting the quality of water used in St. Louis’ breweries (Doc sided with Chicago if you were wondering, stating that St. Louis water was “so contaminated that a little Chicago sewage wouldn’t matter much”).

In 1920, when prohibition forced his Chicago-based Institute of Fermentology to shutter its doors, he did as many Chicagoans still do to this day, and retired to Door County. Unsurprisingly, he continued to hone his craft in a small barn just a few miles north of our facility in Egg Harbor, complete with lookout towers to spot any incoming federal agents. Doc’s continuing “research” certainly would have kept quite a few thirsty Door County residents supplied throughout the dry years of the 1920’s. When prohibition was repealed in 1933, he returned to Chicago and re-opened his institute. At that time, 402 of the 700 newly re-licensed breweries in the United States were operated by individuals trained by Wahl.

As we continue to innovate and look towards the future, it’s also important to look back, and appreciate the people who have paved the way for craft brewers, winemakers, and distillers just like us. Our American Single Malt Whiskey pays homage to this scientist, innovator, and renegade that once called Door County home.

Recipe Idea

Step 1: Take out your finest whiskey glass. Keep in mind, any glass or mug can serve as a whiskey glass in a pinch.

Step 2: Pour a healthy two fingers of Single Malt into said whiskey glass.

Step 3: Gaze at it longingly for a moment. Take in the malty, chocolately, carmely aroma.

Step 4 (optional): Add an icecube.

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