Spirits of French Lick announced the release of it’s third new product this calendar year, Stampers Creek, a double pot distilled American Rum.
The Spirits of French Lick, located in Orange County Indiana, has been fermenting, distilling, and barreling bourbon, as well as other whiskies since, it began operations in April of 2016.
The distillery, in West Baden, is an outgrowth of the French Lick Winery that focuses on four pillars of distilling, bourbon, brandy, botanical spirits, and American whiskey. The Spirits of French Lick pays tribute to the many distilleries that once dotted the southern hills of Indiana pre-prohibition and focuses on using the best practices of those early times in balance with the improved methods of today.
The spirits are crafted from the finest agricultural products that can be grown or sourced. Their distilling philosophy is simple. It is a balance between the distiller’s art and the contribution of the barrel, time, and patience. Stampers Creek is distilled from high-grade molasses from sun dried sugar cane with no sugars removed. The mash is then fermented at 57 degrees over a two-week period using a specially selected strain of wine yeast in order to capture all of the aromatic, ester, and phenolic compounds of the raw material.
“Distillation is agricultural, and our motto is ‘Respect the Grain,’ says John Doty, owner of Spirits of French Lick. “From field to glass we present to you the finest in small batch American Distilling, bringing both quality and tradition back to our state.”
The second distillation used backset from the first batch to sour the wash for fermentation and lower the pH. The rum was then double pot distilled (stripped on Lilith, doubled on Sophia) slow and cold to retain and concentrate flavors. Average proof of hearts was 140. The final product was tank aged and aerated to blow off volatile phenolics. The Stampers Creek Rum is a tribute to the pre-prohibition distillers in Orange county. In Stampers Creek Township, there were as many as nine commercial distilleries operating at once. The families that owned and operated those distilleries, including the Wolfe’s, Peters, Mahin, and McCoys were all related.
“The beautiful thing is our focus is primarily on double pot still distillation, which is a batch system,” says head distiller Alan Bishop. “It’s a percussive art and reflective of the base material and the distiller, so our method of retaining and concentrating flavor in our other spirits translated quite easily to cane molasses distillation as well.”
The springhouse on the label is the limestone water source for the old McCoy applejack Distillery. The distillery operated up until 1914 on what was appropriately known as Still house Corner. The Spirits of French Lick, along with local Indiana photographer Karl Werner, captured this piece of history on their label. The label embodies not only the spirit in the bottle, but the spirits of those distilled before them.
“Southern Indiana obviously does not have a heritage tied to the rum business,” adds Bishop. “We knew if we were going to play outside of our sandbox that what we created had to be better than just good, it needed to be ‘exceptional’ in quality and tone. To that end our team clearly identified the rum we wanted to make as distinctly fruity and floral, with lots of creamy mouthfeel, and a lingering aftertaste.”
The Stampers Creek American Rum will be available through distribution in Indiana via Southern Glazer’s Distributing Co. as well as at the French Lick Winery and Vintage Café gift shop. SOFL also offers an eCommerce platform, Seelbach’s, for individuals to purchase their products outside of Indiana.