Low Gap Rye Whiskey

Low Gap Rye Whiskey


Over three decades ago, Ansley Coale picked up a hitchhiker along Route 101 just north of San Francisco. The hitchhiker — Hubert Germain-Robin — was of French origin and came from a family that had been producing cognac since 1782. As the two drove northward in Coale's car, Hubert spoke of his family's background in distillation. "Hubert wanted to distill using craft methods handed down for centuries from master to apprentice," recalls Coale, who eventually teamed up with the hitchhiker to found Craft Distillers. After purchasing an antique cognac still from an abandoned distillery, Hubert and Coale built a redwood shed in northern California and began distilling spirits. "We bought the still to distill apples, but we also used it for grape spirits. We didn't realize how special it was until Crispin Cain began to distill whiskey on it — the still produces beautifully round, soft, elegant and complex whiskey."

Low Gap Rye Whiskey is crafted from 100% rye malt extract — once fermentedinto beer, the resulting wash is twice distilled through Coale's antique, 16-hectoliter (420-gallon) cognac still. After distillation, the whiskey is aged in several different types of barrels: new and used bourbon barrels, used cognac barrels and new small cooperage barrels from Minnesota.

After the whiskey has aged for a minimum of two years, it is brought to proof using rainwater and bottled by hand. The whiskey has a rich, malty aroma of breakfast cereal and freshly-baked rye bread, along with a velvety palate filled with notes of dried cherries, raisins and cognac. The finish is full-bodied with lasting flavors of honey, graham crackers and toast.

Low Gap earned the title “Artisan Whiskey of the Year” from Whisky Advocatein 2012, and quantities of the brand-new Low Gap Rye Whiskey are extremely limited. 

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