Branch, Louisiana – Mike Frugé and his family of fifth-generation rice farmers have released a full batch of their new J.T. Meleck Rice Whiskey in time for the holiday season. The whiskey will now be available year-round at select retailers throughout Louisiana and Arkansas. The Founder’s Small Batch Edition of the whiskey, harvested, distilled, and bottled in Louisiana from 100 percent rice, sold out last year.
J.T. Meleck Rice Whiskey is the second rice-based spirit for J.T. Meleck, which began distilling rice vodka in 2018. J.T. Meleck Rice Vodka earned a Double Gold Medal, Best of Category, and Best in Class from the American Distillery Institute in 2020.
Whiskeys are commonly made from grains like barley, corn, rye and wheat. Few distillers use rice as part of their mash bill in the U.S., and no American brand has ever crafted a whiskey made 100% from rice, at a commercial level. J.T. Meleck Distillers is the first to craft and market a whiskey made 100% from their rice on a large scale. Every step of the process takes place in Louisiana, from farm to glass.
Whiskey reviewer Fred Minnick, Ascot Awards Founder, and Chief Taster, said of J.T. Meleck American Rice Whiskey, “This is one of the more fascinating new whiskies I have tasted, not just all year but in my career…if you are a whiskey lover, this is a bottle that you want to hunt. If you are a bourbon lover. I think there are enough sweet notes in here…I think that you would love it.”
Like other American whiskeys, J.T. Meleck whiskey is aged for nearly 5 years in American oak, 53-gallon barrels. The spirit appears in an intense amber color. Its aroma characteristics include vanilla crème cake and white chocolate pudding. Its taste and texture is smooth, with hints of butterscotch, silky caramel, crème brulee, and dark chocolate with a bit of spice. It can be enjoyed neat, over ice, or in a classic cocktail.
“With our new American Rice Whiskey, we are offering our best, ready for you to share with family and friends this holiday season,” explains Mike Frugé, founder and owner of Frugé Spirits. “We were patient in our process to release a rice whiskey that was the best it could be, authentic to our Louisiana brand and true to our family’s story. We’re giving what we have directly to you; we hope you enjoy it.”
ABOUT J.T. MELECK AMERICAN RICE WHISKEY
SUB-BRAND/TIER: Louisiana American Rice Whiskey
VARIETAL: American Rice Whiskey
AGED: 4 years
ABV: 96 proof
SIZE: 750 ml
PRICE: SRP $47
Appearance: Amber in color and deep in intensity.
Nose: Aroma characteristics include vanilla crème cake and white chocolate pudding.
Tastings note: On the palate is a smooth texture with hints of butterscotch, silky caramel, crème brulee, and dark chocolate with a pit of spice. An excellent spirit meant to be enjoyed neat, over ice, or in a classic cocktail.
About J.T. Meleck Distillers
One family. One farm. One great idea. It began in 1896 when John T. Meleck had the crazy idea to grow rice on 20 acres of marshland in South Louisiana. Against the odds, the name Meleck became synonymous with Louisiana rice, but to us, he is great, great Uncle John. Five generations later we still grow rice, and now crawfish, on the same 20 acres as our Uncle John. We’ve grown since then, but we are still as connected to the dirt as John was. Years ago, Mike Frugé began thinking: What if we could make a great spirit from our rice? The result is something truly special, born right here on our farm, just off Highway 35 in Branch, Louisiana. We work the dirt and grow the seed, just like Uncle John did. That’s why we’ve named it J.T. Meleck Distillers. We´re proud to take our rice from grain to glass, from our farm to your front porch.