Thursday, November 10, 2016

Around The Whisk(e)y World In 7 Days - Thursday - Day #4

Distillery: Lazy Guy Distillery

Location: Kennesaw, Georgia. USA 

By: Seth Brown


Kennesaw, Georgia is a town rich in history, much of which dates back to the Civil War. It began as a railroad town and went by the name of Big Shanty due to several shanties that popped up housing the railroad workers. The battle of Kennesaw Mountain took place here. It was also where the beginning stages of what would become known as the Great Locomotive Chase took place.

The city of Kennesaw was officially founded in 1887 and had a population of approximately 225 people. It lies 25 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta.

While more than a century and a half has passed since the Civil War and the population has grown to more than 30,000 there are several historic buildings that still exist today. One of which is home to Lazy Guy Distillery.

Located in downtown Kennesaw, Lazy Guy was founded in 2013 by Mark Allen, a first-generation distiller. The distillery resides in a barn-style building that dates back to the early 1800’s. Securing this location didn’t come without its hurdles however.

Allen’s first location of choice was Marietta, Ga, another historic city located to the south of Kennesaw at the base of Kennesaw Mountain. However, Allen was going to have to spend thousands of dollars to get the building up to current code requirements. In an effort to alleviate some of his costs (which in turn would allow him to begin distilling sooner) he asked the city of Marietta to assist with some of these costs. The city refused. That’s when the city of Kennesaw stepped in with open arms.

Prior to founding Lazy Guy, Mark longed for a career change — one that he could be passionate about. He has stated that he was looking for career that would provide a retirement plan. Hence the name ‘Lazy Guy.’ He wanted to do something that would not only help the local community but could be enjoyed by folks both near and far.  Making spirits fit that career perfectly. It took him approximately 4 years from the time he made that leap of faith until he started production in early 2014.

Today the distillery houses an Artisan Design still with 4 plate bubble column, a 1300 liter mash cooker, a 1700 gallon stainless steel water tank and filtration system, bottling equipment, barrel storage area and tasting room. Depending on the proof of the spirit he’s distilling, this equipment allows Allen to produce up to approximately 550 bottles per distillation process.

Mark hasn’t sourced a single spirit, opting to get his grains as locally as possible and distilling and aging everything on-site. While he has obviously been anything but lazy since he first began, Allen’s hard work has started to pay off.  His spirits have started to rack up the awards.  Most recently his Side Track Bourbon and 5th Article 1887 rye whiskies brought home some hardware.

In August, Side Track won a silver medal at Whiskies of The World. The following month, it won a bronze medal at the Washington Cup Spirits Competition in.

The 5th Article 1887 rye whiskey, which I will reviewing here, won gold for the ‘Best in Class’ at the 2016 Whiskies of The World. Like Side Track Bourbon, 5th Article won a bronze medal at the Washing Cup Spirits Competition.

In addition to their recent awards, Lazy Guy recently announced the release of their first ever Georgia Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Embers Bourbon.  

The distillery offers a few different tour packages on Saturdays from 12pm to 5pm in the winter months and from 12pm to 6pm during summer months. For more information about the distillery including the tours and where to purchase their spirits, please visit lazyguydistillery.com. And if you’re ever in the area be sure to look me up. I’m just a short 20-minute drive away from Lazy Guy. I’d love to meet up for a pour!

Lazy Guy Distillery
2950 Moon Station Road
Kennesaw, Georgia


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Review: 

5th Article 1887 Rye Whiskey
 
I’ll admit. I have passed a few Lazy Guy Distillery products on the shelf in a few local shops. While they have peaked my interested I never picked them up. I love to support local companies; it was just something about craft distilleries in general that I tended to ignore them. That is until I started The Bourbon Show podcast along with Steve Akley and Evan Haskill. During our first three months of producing shows we have already interviewed a handful of craft distillery founders and sample some of their spirits. Boy has this experience really changed my view.  There are some FANTASTIC offerings out there from the “small” local distilleries. Offerings that easily compete and yes, even surpass, the offerings from “the big boys” in the Bluegrass.

When Hasse contacted me about a project in which he wanted to review local and/or smaller distilleries I knew exactly what I had to do. And I was excited to do so. The very next time I hit one of my shops I picked up a bottle of Lazy Guy’s 5th Article 1887 Rye Whiskey.

To provide a little history on the name of this offering the label reads:

“In 1887 the City of Kennesaw was incorporated and the 5th article of incorporation stated ‘nothing in this act shall give the town authorities the right to grant license to sell intoxication liquors’.
Times change, but good whiskey stands the test of time. Our combination of rye grain, chocolate malt and barrel aging deliver an exceptionally unique and complex spirit.
Respect the past and embrace the future with our 5th Article 1887.”
I was sold. I’d happily embrace the future by picking up this bottle.

Lazy Guy's 5th Article 1887 Rye Whiskey

Distillery: Lazy Guy Distillery 
Age: NAS, less than 2 years old.
Proof/ABV: 100/50%
Release: Regular offering

Points: 85.5/100















Nose: Toasted oak with young rye aromas — light cinnamon spice.  Light hints of leather, mint and a dash of sugar are also present along with notes of chocolate. 

Taste: The youth of the whiskey really shows here in the taste but this allows the grains to really shine. I pick up some sweetness up front from the chocolate malt. There is a really nice balance with the rye spice creeping in shortly after entry.  Neither tends to overpower the other. It’s medium bodied and very balanced.

Finish: 
The rye and cinnamon spice takes you into what turns out to be a medium-length finish. Once the cinnamon starts to dissipate the chocolate notes return and stick to the sides of my mouth.

In conclusion, this is a really great young rye whiskey. That said, if you’re not into young, grain-forward whiskies this might not be for you. I would be interested in seeing what some extra time in the barrel would do for it. Regardless of its age, this won’t be the last bottle of 5th Article 1887 that I pick up. If you’re in the Atlanta area be sure to either stop by the distillery or locate a local Atlanta shop that carries Lazy Guy products. You can find an up-to-date list of those shops on Lazy Guy’s website, lazyguydistillery.com.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Seth Brown
Regular readers of The Son of Winston Churchill properly knows who Seth Brown is, but for anyone new to this blog;
Having grown up in Kentucky I was aware of Bourbon at a very early age — what it was and of course, where most of it was made. Living in the Blue Grass State, you would have almost had to go out of your way to not know.

Hello, my name is Seth Brown.

My childhood neighbor, Mr. Barton, of course only drank Very Old Barton (no relation) in his “totties.” On the way to visit my grandparents we passed exits for Maker’s Mark, Four Roses, Wild Turkey and George T. Stagg (now Buffalo Trace Distillery). It was the Bourbon Trail before there was a commercialized version of it. At Christmas, my grandmother always made Bourbon balls; a chocolate ball-shaped cookie, of sorts, made with Bourbon.
Bourbon was always around in some form. Even in the dismal Bourbon days of the late 70’s and 1980’s.

Through my college years it was Kentucky Gentleman and Coke. After college I “moved up” to Evan Williams and Coke. And there was always a bottle of Maker’s Mark around for those “special” occasions. As I got older my tastes refined and matured. The first Bourbon that I remember enjoying neat (sipping, not taking a shot — of course there were plenty of those in my college days) was Pappy Van Winkle 20 year. Though it isn’t my favorite Bourbon it certainly was a game changer for me.

My favorite pours these days are Four Roses 2014 Single Barrel Limited Edition, Four Roses 2015 Small Batch Limited Edition, Elmer T. Lee and E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof (specifically the late 2014 release, 64.5%/129 proof). While I change my everyday pour from time to time, my cabinet staples are usually Elijah Craig 12 year (now a non-age stated Bourbon) or Four Roses Single Barrel. I typically lean toward high-rye Bourbon mash bills at higher proofs.

For the past 17 years I have lived in Atlanta, Georgia. While I no longer live in my home state of Kentucky I am still just as passionate about Bourbon. Perhaps even more. I use to feel that if I drank a whiskey made outside of Kentucky that I was cheating on my home. I have since found that there are a lot of really great whiskies made all over the world. Over the last several years my whiskey collection has expanded to include Rye, Scotch (thanks in large part to Hasse), Japanese and Canadian whiskies. But my true love will always be Bourbon.

I hope you enjoy my reviews and contributions on the Son of Winston Churchill. You can also follow me on Instagram, @a_southernman

Cheers! 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Make sure to check back in tomorrow, where we are heading to Fary Lochan Distillery in Give, Denmark with Hasse Berg 

 Want to read our previously distillery visits? Click below!