Triple Eight Noreaster Bourbon
Nor`easters are storms found on the Eastern seaboard that batter Nantucket on a yearly basis. They typically bring heavy rain, significant snowfall, and strong winds. These storms are similar to hurricanes, except they typically form over land rather than the ocean. When they gather strength along the East Coast, winds rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, generating a northeast wind around the North side of the storm. The origin of the name ‘Nor`easter’ comes from this wind direction. Triple Eight Noreaster Bourbon was named with these very New England storms in mind.
Triple Eight Distillery started distilling spirit for fortified wine in 1997 and everything else in 2000. When they mill, mash, ferment and distill bourbon whisky on island their mashbill is 60% Corn, 23% Barley and 17% Rye (The mash bill is subject to change though)
The Blending Process
They also buy bourbon from other distilleries in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Missouri. These bourbons all have different mash bills. They bring the whisky distilled elsewhere to Nantucket so it can mature here. During this maturation process, Nantucket’s environment plays a huge role. Being an island, they have a maritime climate (oceanic climate, marine climate). Nantucket is located in the North Atlantic. That means they get influenced by polar air mass. However, Nantucket is also close to the Gulf stream, so they get influenced by temperate and tropical air mass as well. Only a handful of places in the world have this type of climate. One region is the western isles of Scotland.
Triple Eight Distillery takes advantage of its unique situation by using ventilated warehouses, allowing the island to mature our spirits in selected barrels (all barrels are at least 53 gallons in size). After aging, a portion of the whisky is sometimes double-barreled, or finished, in former Sherry casks, previously used wine barrels from Nantucket Vineyard, barrels that previously held cognac, sauternes, etc (whatever they think is interesting). The real importance of this step is “marrying” the different bourbon barrels through vatting and rebarreling, allowing their differing qualities to come together.
So that’s how Triple Eight Noreaster Bourbon is made.
The source for Triple Eight Nor’Easter Bourbon
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.