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JT Meleck creates ‘first’ American rice whiskey

Louisiana-based JT Meleck Distillers has launched the ‘first’ commercially available American whiskey to be made 100% from rice.

J.T Meleck rice whiskey
JT Meleck is believed to be the first American whiskey made 100% from rice at a commercial level

Owner and founder Mike Frugé and his family of fifth-generation rice farmers have released a full batch of the new JT Meleck Rice Whiskey following the success of the Founder’s Small Batch Edition rice whiskey last year, which has since sold out.

“With our new American Rice Whiskey, we are offering our best ready for you to share with family and friends this holiday season,” said Frugé. “We were patient in our process to release a rice whiskey that was the best it could be, authentic to our Louisiana brand and true to our family’s story. We’re giving what we have directly to you – we hope you enjoy it.”

The whiskey was aged for just under five years in American oak 200-litre casks, which has provided the spirit with an intense amber colour.

It is said to be smooth on the palate, with hints of butterscotch, silky caramel, crème brûlée, and dark chocolate with a bit of spice.

On the nose it offers notes of vanilla crème cake and white chocolate pudding.

Whisky reviewer Fred Minnick commented: “This is one of the more fascinating new whiskies I have tasted, not just all year but in my career. If you are a whiskey lover, this is a bottle that you want to hunt. If you are a Bourbon lover, I think there are enough sweet notes in here. I think that you would love it.”

The whiskey is now available year-round at select retailers throughout Louisiana and Arkansas for an RRP of US$47.

It has been bottled at 48% ABV and presented in 750ml bottles.

JT Meleck Rice Whiskey is the second rice-based spirit for the company, which began distilling rice vodka in 2018.

Last year, Kirker Greer Spirits launched Ukiyo Rice Vodka made with long-grain indica rice that has been inoculated with black kōji.

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