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Milam & Greene tells its story through whiskey

Unabridged Volume 2 is the first of three releases in Milam & Greene distillery’s 2023 Blender’s Reserve Collection.

Milam & Greene
Point of difference: Milam & Greene Unabridged Volume 2

As a whiskey writer turned whiskey maker, Heather Greene, CEO of Texas-based Milam & Greene, understands how to tell a story. In November 2022, she merged these two worlds with Unabridged, a blended Bourbon created with the help of journalists Noah Rothbaum and David Wondrich.

This month (September), Milam & Greene is releasing Unabridged Volume 2, a blend that was unanimously selected by 10 staffers. It will be the first of three whiskeys released as part of the distillery’s autumn 2023 Blender’s Reserve Collection.

Greene said the name works two-fold, as both a nod to her writerly past and love of writing, and a way to communicate that the whiskey itself wasn’t edited down.

Bottled at a cask strength of 58.8% ABV, Unabridged Volume 2 blends together 56 barrels of various age and provenance. All component parts are listed on the label, and that level of transparency remains central to Greene’s whiskey outlook.

“It’s a virtue,” she said. “You want to know what the ingredients are. I do. It’s part of the story. Especially with differences in climate and the amount of time and effort I take to find the right things to find the right barrels, the right people.”

The 56 barrels used breakdown as follows: 11 were Tennessee Bourbon aged for 16 years in Texas and Tennessee; 18 were Tennessee Bourbon aged for seven years in Texas and Tennessee; five were Tennessee Bourbon aged for four years in Tennessee; nine were Kentucky Bourbon made with malted rye aged for three years in Kentucky; 11 were Kentucky Bourbon made with malted rye aged for two years in Kentucky; and two were Texas Bourbon made with malted rye aged for two years in Texas.

By sourcing from a variety of producers, distilling on column and pot stills, and aging in multiple states and climates, Greene and her team have a huge variety of whiskies to work with. The goal then is to chose the best barrels, make the best distillate, and tend to the whiskies over time so that when it’s time to blend them, the pieces make a more beautiful whole.

“These were barrels that I actually started with. And now here we are six, seven, eight years later, and now I’m getting to use them,” she said. “I like being the farmer that put them there in the first place or chose them or planted those seeds. And then over time, see them come to fruition. To me, that’s really exciting.”

More to come

There’s more to come from Milam & Greene this year, with upcoming releases of Very Small Batch 2 and the final release of Vintage Castle Hill Series Batch 3 due in the coming months. Greene references famed Scotch blenders and says it’s her hope to develop a reputation that consumers come to associate with high quality.

“Getting to a place where people trust the whiskey maker themselves. And the whiskey programme under that label,” she said. “I want to make a whiskey that people want to drink and are somewhat familiar with a little bit of a story and [has] our hands on it and some artisanal aspect of it and a little bit of pop and spice and different flavour than you might find in other whiskeys.”

Unabridged Volume 2 is priced at RRP US$95, with 800 cases available on the Milam & Greene website, across the US and in Alberta, Canada.

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