Branch, LA – Award-winning J.T. Meleck, the first American brand of whiskey made from 100% rice sold at a commercial level, will now offer its J.T. Meleck Rice Whiskey year-round, including a single-barrel cask strength option for select retailers in its home state of Louisiana.
“With our new American Rice Whiskey, we are offering our best, ready for you to share with family and friends,” explains Mike Frugé, founder and owner of Frugé Spirits. “We were patient in our process to release a rice whiskey that was the best it could be, authentic to our Louisiana brand and true to our family’s story. We’re giving what we have directly to you; we hope you enjoy it.”
J.T. Meleck Rice Whiskey began in 2021 as a limited holiday offering, the Small Batch Founder’s Edition. The whiskey was conceived after the success of the brand’s first rice-based spirit, JT. Meleck Rice Vodka. The vodka earned a Double Gold Medal, Best of Category and Best in Class from the American Distillery Institute in 2020.
Whiskey reviewer Fred Minnick, Ascot Awards Founder and Chief Taster, said of J.T. Meleck American Rice Whiskey, “This is one of the more fascinating new whiskies I have tasted, not just all year but in my career…if you are a whiskey lover, this is a bottle that you want to hunt. If you are a bourbon lover. I think there are enough sweet notes in here…I think that you would love it.” Even naming J.T. Meleck American Rice Whiskey as one of his Top 100 whiskeys of 2022.
After such a positive response following their rice whiskey release in July of 2022, Mike Fruge’ and his team tested their Single Barrel Program in four select Louisiana retailers in October. With picks selling out within a few days, it was an obvious choice to continue the program into 2023 throughout the state of Louisiana.
Whiskeys are commonly made from grains like barley, corn, rye and wheat. Few distillers use rice as part of their mash bill in the U.S., and no American brand has ever crafted a whiskey made 100% from rice, at a commercial level. J.T. Meleck Distillers is the first to craft and market a whiskey made 100% from their rice on a large scale. Every step of the process takes place in Louisiana, from farm to glass.
Like other American whiskeys, J.T. Meleck whiskey is aged for nearly 5 years in American oak, 53-gallon barrels. The spirit appears in an intense amber color. Its aroma characteristics include vanilla crème cake and white chocolate pudding. Its taste and texture is smooth, with hints of butterscotch, silky caramel, crème brulee, and dark chocolate with a bit of spice. It can be enjoyed neat, over ice, or in a classic cocktail.
Each single barrel edition, however, will have its own unique flavor profile, proof and yield (bottle count).
“Every single spirit that leaves the farm at JT Meleck has gone through a quality control process, meaning we have smelled, tasted and analyzed to make sure we are giving our fans a consistent spirit,” Fruge says. “When conducting this process for whiskey, the rice takes its own path in each barrel. Some barrels stand above the rest in terms of nose and flavor profile, distinguished not only from the batch but also from each other. We identify these barrels and offer them at cask strength to our retailers, who select a favorite to offer their customers. Their chosen barrel will become their single barrel pick, hand-selected.”
HOW TO FIND J.T. MELECK WHISKEY IN RETAILERS
Meleck Members are the first to know about new single barrel whiskey launches. Fans can join by texting JTMELECK to 337-337-1061, which sends new offerings directly to their phones.
You can find the nearest retail location with their blended American Rice Whiskey, with an ABV of 48%, at jtmeleck.net/locate.
ABOUT J.T. MELECK AMERICAN RICE WHISKEY
SUB-BRAND/TIER: Louisiana American Rice Whiskey
VARIETAL: American Rice Whiskey
AGED 4 years
ABV: 96 proof
SIZE: 750 ml
PRICE: SRP $47
About J.T. Meleck Distillers
One family. One farm. One great idea. It began in 1896 when John T. Meleck had the crazy idea to grow rice on 20 acres of marshland in South Louisiana. Against the odds, the name Meleck became synonymous with Louisiana rice, but to us he is great, great Uncle John. Five generations later we still grow rice, and now crawfish, on the same 20 acres as our Uncle John. We’ve grown since then, but we are still as connected to the dirt as John was. Years ago, Mike Frugé began thinking: What if we could make a great spirit from our rice? The result is something truly special, born right here on our farm, just off Highway 35 in Branch, Louisiana. We work the dirt and grow the seed, just like Uncle John did. That’s why we’ve named it J.T. Meleck Distillers. We´re proud to take our rice from grain to glass, from our farm to your front porch.