I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Adam Stumpf for three years. As long as I’ve known him and as often as I’ve visited Stumpy’s Spirits, he’s had four barrels in a small rack just inside his still room. That rack held four barrels of 100% wheat whiskey. Three barreled at 93 proof and one at 120 proof. One of the highlights of each visit was getting a little sample from one of those barrels. Adam’s goal for these barrels was to reach four years old to be Stumpy’s first ever bottled in bond release.
Late last year, those barrels turned four and yesterday Old Monroe Bottled in Bond Straight Wheat Whiskey was released to the public. People started gathering outside the distillery early, anticipating the gift shop’s noon opening. Some of us – Mike Lisac (My Whiskey Den) and myself – showed up nearly three hours early and enjoyed some music and parking lot pours despite snow flurries and temps in the 20s.
For several hours, whiskey fans filed into the gift shop and left with smiles on their faces and their arms full of bottled-in-bond wheat whiskey. It was a milestone day for Adam, Laura (his wife) and the whole team at Stumpy’s Spirits. There aren’t any more sincere and good-natured people I know in the whiskey world than Adam and Laura. They are the kind of people that you root for and are happy to see enjoy success.
What’s next for Stumpy’s? Well, among other things, they’ve recently installed a “new” still. I say “new” because it is actually 100 years old. For more information on that still, you can follow this link.
What all Stumpy’s fans really want to know, however, is…what’s going in that rack to replace those wheat whiskey barrels? And when can I try it?!
Old Monroe Straight Wheat Whiskey Bottled-in-Bond
This whiskey, Stumpy’s Spirits first bottled-in-bond product, is comprised of four barrels of 100% soft red winter wheat whiskey. This is a true home-grown product as the wheat was grown on-site at the Stumpf family farm.
Taste: The brown sugar and apple remain and get a little cinnamon and butter added in. For a “fat guy tasting note” think: fried apples. There’s some honey and a bit of dark cocoa or mocha there, too.
Nose: Brown sugar, apple, pear and a bit of leather
Finish: Brown sugar and honey really linger with just a bit of oak to tell you this whiskey has a little bit of age on it.
There isn’t much that Stumpy’s Spirits has put in a bottle that I haven’t enjoyed. The “119.6 proof rye” made with a 1910 rye mash bill and the “Wheat in Tarnation” bottles are in the elite class of all whiskeys ever released by Stumpy’s. This bottled-in-bond wheat whiskey comfortably takes its place on the top shelf with those other classic Old Monroe offerings.
Overall, this bottled-in-bond wheat whiskey is fantastic. Having had the opportunity to sample from these barrels a couple of times over the years, it was clear Adam had something special here. But, he’s blended and proofed these barrels in such a way that the whole is even greater than the sum of its parts. Mark this one down as an early contender for 2022 Whiskey of the Year.