Alternate Takes ... let's play it again.
Mic check, mic check … one, two, one, two. In the analog age of music, artists recorded take after take, experimenting with alternate sounds until a great record emerged. What became known as an ‘alternate take’ would later ignite a creative concept that we’ve embraced and celebrated over the years here at Dogfish Head. First with the creation of our Alternate Takes beer series, and now with our distillery team crafting that same spirit (see what we did there?) with an Alternate Takes Series of their very own.
We first kicked things off with Alternate Takes Volume 1: Whiskey Finished in Rum Casks. Taking inspiration from our off-centered ales, this whiskey starts out as a complex beer brewed with specialty ingredients like applewood smoked, coffee kiln and crystal malts. From there, it’s fermented with our proprietary Doggie yeast – right alongside beers like 60 Minute IPA and SeaQuench Ale – before it’s batch-distilled and aged in new charred American oak barrels, and finally barrels that once held our Barrel Honey Rum. By tapping into our world-class brewery and 25 years of grain experience, this all-grain whiskey is crafted from the very best ingredients, equipment and expertise, including the removal of grain solids from the liquid prior to fermentation. This process, along with our batch-distillation, creates a base whiskey that’s more delicate and nuanced than a typical American style whiskey, resulting in layers of complexity and exceptional smoothness.
“We approach each creative moment at Dogfish with a thirst to push new and out-of-the-ordinary ideas to the furthest limit, as no liquid concoction is out of bounds, and each take on it is part of the artistic journey,” says Dogfish Head founder and brewer Sam Calagione.
The tinkering, experimenting and dreaming continues with our latest iteration, Alternate Takes Volume 2: Whiskey Finished in Palo Santo Marron Barrels. Batch-distilled using a grain bill similar to that of Alternate Takes Volume 1, this whiskey is then aged in American oak before being finished in casks that previously aged Palo Santo Marron. An exotic Paraguayan wood, Palo Santo has been used in South American wine-making communities for decades for its uniquely complex caramel and vanilla notes. The result is a savory sipper that’s balanced by flavors of caramel, smoke, green tea, white chocolate and dark wood.
Our Alternate Takes series is an ode to the mad chemistry of R&D distilling, and we’re excited to see where it takes us next. You can find Alternate Takes Volume 1 and Volume 2 throughout Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. (with limited availability). Check out the Fish Finder to help you track some down in your neck of the woods!