Published: October 19, 2011
Clearly, the Hoodoo brew has a lot going for it — 99 IBUs with a 9 percent ABV — and it might just be the way to get that Halloween party started.
Though craft brewing has finally come into its own in our fair state, distilling still has a ways to go. Though there are spirited standouts, including Valentine Vodka and Hard Luck Candy Flavored Vodka, when it's time for a boilermaker, the drinker usually has to settle for an out-of-state shot.
But, as a local bartender pointed out to us recently, western Michigan's New Holland Artisan Spirits produces an excellent whiskey — as well as rum, vodka, gin and more. Better still, it's a rye, perfect for the shot-and-a-beer ethos.
It's called Walleye Rye, and it was introduced in 2010. Fermented from a whiskey-wash of malted rye and malted barley, it's twice-distilled and matured in small American oak barrels with a heavy char. It has a bright and vibrant nose, leading to spicy rye character and a dry, toasted body bathed in oak.
It sounds good enough to sip alone, but if you want to dunk it on in a pint glass of beer and get the evening started, you could do worse than pairing it with New Holland Brewing Company's "Full Circle," a light, kölsch-style beer with soft, well-rounded malt character, light on the hops, and with a crisp finish — your classic, thirst-quenching beer.
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