Maris Otter is a two-row winter barley variety long favored by British maltsters and brewers. Floor-malted Maris Otter is a touchstone for capturing traditional British ale flavor, and has been a particular favorite among traditional cask ale brewmasters.
Notable beers brewed with Maris Otter include Fuller's 1845, Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine, BrewDog Hardcore IPA, and North Coast Old Stock Ale.
But for the first time, and in celebration of that great British beer ingredient, this week’s Beer Pick is a whiskey, not a beer — namely Maris Otter, a new single malt from Atlanta’s ASW Distillery.
Maris Otter Single Malt Whiskey
ASW Distillery, Atlanta
Available in 750-ml bottles at ASW and metro Atlanta package stores
Part of ASW’s Ameireaganach Series of single malts, Maris Otter was distilled in a traditional copper pot still with Maris Otter malt procured from Monday Night Brewing. Traditionally a prized ingredient for brewing British ales, Maris Otter has been a favorite of ASW head distiller Justin Manglitz, who loved to use it during the near-decade he owned a homebrew supply shop in Athens, GA.
Aged in a combination of new, char 3 and 4, 53-gallon American white oak casks, the result of Manglitz’s Maris Otter passion is a single malt iteration that's drinks a bit like a bourbon. But beyond some fruity aromas and flavors, there’s a unique rich, slightly nutty presence on the palate, and a smooth, lingering sweetness in the finish.
On a cold fall night, Maris Otter would make a fine fireside companion with dark chocolate toffee or buttery Scottish shortbread.
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