The Origin Of The Notch
Dean Long, co-founder and original distiller at Triple Eight Distillery, started producing The Notch in 2000. Dean, having previously run the still for Nantucket Vineyard producing fortified wine, decided he wanted to craft a world class whisky. Dean reached out to George McClements, former production manager at Islay’s Bowmore Distillery, to advise on technique for batch distillation. 8 years later Triple Eight Distillery released The Notch Single Malt Whisky, the United States first and only island malt whisky. The 8 year old was ceremoniously released on 8/8/08.
The Notch Single Malt Whisky is crafted from Maris Otter, an heirloom variety of malted barley. The grain is milled and mashed on property at Cisco Brewery. The mashing process creates wort which is then transferred to Triple Eight where it is fermented and batch distilled through Triple Eight’s Arnold Holstein copper still.
Following distillation, the whisky is aged in various types of barrels. These include a mixture of used bourbon barrels sourced from our own distillery and others, such as Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam and Jack Daniels. Other barrels were previously used to store Cognac, Sauterne, various other types of wine, port and sherry. During this maturation process, Nantucket’s environment plays a huge role. Nantucket’s maritime climate is similar to the western isles of Scotland.
The spirit is stored in wooden casks, which are susceptible to the island’s combination of Polar Maritime (cool and moist) and Tropical Maritime (hot and humid) climates. Triple Eight Distillery takes advantage of its unique situation by using ventilated warehouses, allowing the ocean breeze to mature our spirits in hand selected barrels. After aging, a portion of the whisky is sometimes double-barreled, or finished, in former Sherry casks or previously used wine barrels from Nantucket Vineyard.
The creation of Notch is currently being led by Randy Hudson, co-founder of Triple Eight Distillery and Cisco Brewers. Randy, was also Cisco Brewery’s original brewer. Hudson, recently served as the United States judging representative at the 2013 and 2014 International Spirits Challenge in Scotland.
Awards for The Notch Nantucket Island Single Malt Whisky
Awards for the 8 year:
2023 awarded Double Gold Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition
2023 awarded Gold, International Spirit Challenge
2023 awarded Silver, International Wine & Spirit Competition
2023 awarded Silver, American Distilling Institution
Awards for Triple Eight Distillery:
2015 Triple Eight Distillery was shortlisted for Americans and Caribbean Spirits Producer of the Year by International Wine and Spirits Competition
2015 Triple Eight Distillery was named American Single Malt Distillery of the year by the Berlin International Spirits Competition
The Notch 8 year, 10 year and 12 year were all awarded “Liquid Gold” status in Jim Murrary’s Whisky Bible.
Triple Eight Distillery, Producer of The Notch
After the founding of Nantucket Vineyard in 1981 by Dean and Melissa Long, and Cisco Brewers in 1995 by Randy and Wendy Hudson, the idea of establishing a distillery on island seemed the next logical step. In 1997 Nantucket Vineyard purchased a copper pot still and began distilling spirit. Dean Long became the lead distiller at Triple Eight Distillery after 16 years as head winemaker for Nantucket Vineyard.
After 11 years and the successful release of the Notch Single Malt Whisky in 2008, Dean returned his main focus to winemaking and Randy Hudson took over as lead distiller after serving as head brewer for Cisco Brewers for the previous 13 years.
Triple Eight Distillery has been recognized many times as an industry leader in spirit production and has been awarded top honors in national and international competitions such as the International Spirit Challenge, San Francisco World Spirit Competition, International Wine and Spirit Competition, American Distilling Institute, American Craft Spirit Association and The Berlin International Spirits Competition.
For more information, check out the Triple Eight website.