About eight years ago, says John Mckee of Headframe Spirits, several distillers started what they called “The Good Guys Club” in an attempt to create a community of craft distillers who could help and support each other on their whiskey journeys. After years of having the support of other distillers to call when they needed help, they came up with the idea that they needed to turn the “good” into a verb. The concept of Good Deeds Spirits was born.
“The goal is we’re going to raise $75,000 for the STEPUP campaign to turn good into a verb,” McKee says. “This brand is evergreen, this is just the first release. We intend to keep making and releasing these whiskeys to support people who make and elevate change.”
STEPUP stands for Spirits Training Entrepreneurship Program for Underrepresented Professionals, an internship program administered by the American Craft Spirits Association. John Jeffrey spelled out what the internship would actually look like, namely that it is a paid internship and not just open to people who can afford to work for free. Interns will be matched with craft distilleries and will actually spend time in the distilleries learning the ropes. There is a plan to hire two interns the first year and more as the program grows.
The sale of this whiskey is slated to raise $75,000 for the program – 1000 bottles at $75 each. Bottles go on sale October 15 at Seelbach’s.
The whiskey inside the bottle comes from 10 different distilleries making 10 different sytles of American Single Malt Whiskey. The final product would be considered an American Vatted Malt Whiskey.
Paul Hletko reports that FEW Spirits donated 100% of their distillery’s year’s allocation of American Single Malt whiskey to this project, some of which was smoked and some not. Rogue Spirits donated Cherrywood and Alderwood smoked single malt, says Jake Holshue. John Mleziva from State Line Distillery donated the first whiskey his distillery ever made, featuring Belgian yeasts and aged in a former FEW Bourbon cask. Santa Fe Spirits donated a mesquite smoked single malt, adding additional complexity to the blend.
In all there are at least four different types of smoke represented in the blend: cherry, hickory, mesquite, and alder. Despite these seemingly very different component whiskeys, the final product is expertly blended with bright acidity and notes of fruit and spice.
Check out this profile about the project by my colleague Andrew Faulkner over on American Whiskey Magazine.
More information on the program and the whiskeys:
Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl and Good Deeds Spirits