"Right now, we’ve got about 25 barrels," explains Uselton. "Most are rye whiskey." Of those 25 barrels, the oldest whiskey in the New Columbia facility is about three years old. "Our idea, when the barrels are properly matured, is to release a barrel, hold a barrel, release a barrel, hold a barrel." Following this staggered release schedule would allow New Columbia to let select barrels continue aging. "Say the first barrel released is five years old, then the next year we can release some six year old... and just keep going down the line."
Asking the question of what kind of whiskey is actually in these barrels leads down a fascinating rabbit hole. "We like our 70-30 rye mash bill [the make-up grains that are used in the brewing, fermenting, and distilling process], which is 70% rye and 30% malted barley, but the barley is half distillers’ malt and half brewers’ malt," he says. Rye whiskey is often accompanied by both corn and barley in its mash bill, but eschewing the corn "gives it a nice body," Uselton says.