How Whiskey is Made
Whiskey is a spirit distilled from any grain, but Santa Fe Spirits prefers the deep and rich complexity of malted barley in its whiskies. Malted barley allows for the traditional separation of the sweet wort from the used up malted barley, as is traditionally done in Scotch single malt whiskey production. Santa Fe Spirits uses two different types of barley in its whiskies: 2-row brewers malt and 6-row distillers malt. The 2-row malt is used for making Silver Coyote Pure Malt Whiskey, and the 6-row malt is smoked with mesquite to make Santa Fe Spirits Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey.
In all whiskies, this wort is then fermented by yeast into a beer or “wash” containing approximately 10% ABV. Then, the wash is “stripped” of its alcohol by distilling it once. The result of this distillation, called “low wines” is set aside for future distillation in a “spirit run” where the final spirit is produced.
In the case of Santa Fe Spirit Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey, the second distillation is a simple pot distillation meant to leave in as much of the smoke and malt flavor as possible for subsequent barrel aging. In Silver Coyote, on the other hand, the spirit run is a six distillation process that yields an extremely smooth and clean whiskey that is ready for drinking the moment that it drips out of the still.
The aging process is critical to the production of Santa Fe Spirits Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey. Santa Fe Spirits utilizes several barrel rooms, a mix of used bourbon barrels and new Amercian oak barrels, and, most of all, time, to mature its whiskies to perfection.