Dogfish Head Records an Alternate Take on the Whiskey Category

Feb. 11, 2019


Our friends at Dogfish Head understand the painstaking artistry that goes into distilling, and they tend to push the limits in search of the best possible processes and outcomes. So, it makes sense that their first experimental whiskey release, “Alternate Takes: Volume 1, Whiskey Finished in Rum Casks,” would be a rather mind-bending journey through the distilling process. 

Alternative Nation

According to the company, Alternate Takes: Volume 1 begins with an unusual beer wash, one that is from a “complex beer consisting of mostly specialty malts, including Applewood smoked, coffee kiln and crystal malts.” The wash is fermented with Dogfish Head’s own Doggie Ale yeast and aged in new charred American oak barrels before being finished in American oak casks which previously held Dogfish Head’s Barrel Honey Rum.

As the company states, the Alternate Takes Volume 1 process is analogous to the “analog age of music, [when] artists recorded take after take, experimenting with alternate sounds until a great record emerged.” 

By experimenting with alternate barrel finishes for their aged whiskey, Dogfish Head explored possible “alternate takes” before landing, in this case, on the barrels which previously aged the Barrel Honey Rum.

Hot Takes

The result, according to Dogfish Head, is a medium-bodied malt whiskey with layers upon layers of complexity and an exceptional smoothness.

In a prepared statement, Sam Calagione, Founder & CEO of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery & Dogfish Head Distilling Co., said “We approach each creative moment at Dogfish with a thirst to push new and out-of-the-ordinary ideas to the furthest limit,” and “as no liquid concoction is out of bounds, and each take on it is part of the artistic journey, our Alternate Takes Volume 1 whiskey series is an ode of sorts to the mad chemistry of R&D distilling, and we’re super excited to share this creatively fresh take on Whiskey Finished in Rum Casks with our Delmarva friends.”

To learn more about the people behind Dogfish Head’s brews, check out our photo story, “Dogfish Head: Great Beer, Even Better People.”
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