This Distiller's Floating Barrel House Changes Everything About Whiskey
In Columbus, Kentucky, a unique bourbon-making process takes place aboard the only floating barrel house in the country. In this episode of Crafted, presented by Renasant Bank, Amanda Mertz delves into the heritage of O.H. Ingram River Aged Whiskey. Join us as we uncover the story behind this extraordinary craft, where tradition meets innovation on the Mississippi River.
Meet Hank Ingram, the founder of O.H. Ingram River Aged Whiskey, a craftsman dedicated to reviving the essence of bourbon-making rooted in the river. Hank's inspiration stems from his family's 150-year-old legacy on the river, a tradition that merges seamlessly with the history of bourbon itself. The settlers of Kentucky, lacking railroads but blessed with the river, honed their craft by sloshing whiskey-filled barrels downriver, a process that defined the character of the spirit. Hank's vision was to rekindle this tradition, leading to the birth of O.H. Ingram River Aged Whiskey.
Crafting O.H. Ingram River Aged Whiskey begins with raw distillate produced to their unique recipe at the Green River distillery in Owensboro, KY. These barrels, carefully chosen, are then loaded onto the floating barrel house, where they mature for at least four years. The constant motion of the barge, coupled with drastic temperature fluctuations and high humidity, accelerates the interaction between the whiskey and the oak. This unique environment results in a complex, flavorful bourbon that captivates the senses.
Enter Scott Beyer, the master blender, whose role is paramount in the final product. Scott meticulously samples barrels, blending them to create a consistent, yet ever-improving whiskey. The end goal? To produce a spirit designed to be savored neat, highlighting the marriage of sweetness and high proof. Scott's expertise ensures that every sip tells a story of craftsmanship and dedication.
For Hank Ingram, O.H. Ingram River Aged Whiskey is not just a business; it's a legacy. With his name proudly adorning each bottle, Hank envisions a future where his family's tradition lives on. By venturing into uncharted waters, he has created a product that stands as a testament to his determination and passion. Despite the challenges faced, the result is a whiskey that embodies the spirit of the river and the soul of its crafters.