Rhode Island, as states with distilleries go, is not one of the first that comes to mind for whiskey production. Some are making a go at it there though, with Providence-based Industrious Spirit Company (ISCO) set to debut the second batch of a unique two variety blue corn bourbon.
The new Blue Velvet Bourbon, according to those behind it, is created from 100% blue corn using a blend of two very special and distinct varieties—an organic strain of indigo developed in Kentucky and a landrace blue variety from Oaxaca, Mexico (“landrace” indicates a plant grown in its original region with a nearly identical genetic makeup to its wild ancestor).
The distillery, after getting hold of the corns, cooks and ferments before distilling in small batches and letting the whiskey rest in charred new oak barrels for six to twelve months. Official tasting notes for this offering make mention of heaps of caramel, chocolate and vanilla flavors and a signature note of blue corn tortillas.
“We are proud to bring back Blue Velvet Bourbon,” said Dan Neff and Eric Olson, Head Distillers at ISCO, in a prepared statement. “This continues to be a very special project for us. While good things take time, and bourbon generally ages for at least two years (as will most of ours), the unique nature of the corns that we used for this special project has allowed us to create something youthful yet fully expressive, showing off our passion for flavor.
“Our favorite way to enjoy Blue Velvet is sipped neat or on the rocks.”
This looks to be a distillery only release, bottled at 100 proof. A weekend of events around its launch will take place onsite the weekend of September 15th, at which time bottles will be made available for purchase until they sell out. Alongside all of this a raffle will be held, with proceeds from it benefitting two non-profits.
The Industrious Spirit Company, for those unfamiliar with it, is the first distillery in Providence since Prohibition. They hand-distill vodka, gin, bourbon and specialty spirits. Their production space and tasting room were once part of Providence Steel & Iron, a business that produced structural and ornamental steel for nearly 100 years.