The Heart and Soul of Good Spirits

I think that yeast is the soul of good whiskey. I also believe that bread-making is good practice for making spirits, and have told this to those I meet, as I talk about starting our distillery.

Most people look at me like I don’t know what I am talking about. They also look concerned.

This past April, Chuck and I visited several bourbon distilleries in Kentucky. The tour at Maker’s Mark starts in the kitchen, where the recipe for the bourbon was perfected. The tour guide explained that Mr. T. William Samuels Sr. baked bread, and used what he learned from this process to perfect the Maker’s Mark recipe.

Many of the Kentucky distilleries openly state their mash bill, which is the percentages of corn, rye, barley and other grains in their recipes. They keep their yeasts secret. After all, yeast is the heart and soul of good spirits.