The minds at Wigle Whiskey are restless. The owners of the Strip District distillery have already developed two white whiskeys, a series of aged whiskeys and a Dutch-inspired gin. Wigle has also been licensed as one of the first grain-to-bottle organic distilleries in the country. And the distillery isn't yet two years old.
What's more, Wigle is now releasing two new products: a line of bitters and a "Spirit Distilled From Honey" called Landlocked.
"Through the gin process, we fell in love with working with botanicals, and bitters are the ultimate expression of botanicals," says Wigle's Meredith Grelli.
She says that bitters were a natural progression in Wigle's product development, since the pungent, almost medicinal, flavor is used to add a finishing touch to cocktails.
"We want to have a full line of products that consumers can use to make an all-Wigle cocktail. Bitters will help us get there," she says.
It's taken a little while longer than expected to get the bitters to market, because the booze-maker had to jump through a series of "non-potable" licensing hoops. But developing Landlocked, its honey spirit, was a more straightforward process. Meredith Grelli and her husband, distiller Alex, are both avid beekeepers and they wanted to make a spirit that would celebrate the region's buckwheat-loving bees.
There are two basic expressions of Landlocked: straight honey, and spiced with coco nibs, orange peels, vanilla and cinnamon. Un-aged versions of the spirit will be released on Oct 11; barrel-aged products are due sometime in the spring.
With so much development happening so quickly, it's natural to wonder if the company is spreading itself too thin.
Grelli is unfazed by this question. "We will always be a whiskey company, first and foremost," she says, adding that a product is never released until after going through taste tests and a lengthy development process.
So don't expect Wigle's curious minds to stop experimenting. As Grelli says, "Innovation is what keeps us fascinated."