The least offensive definition for the term “bastard” means something or someone that is of a “mysterious origin.” That’s exactly what the guys with the Florida Craft Spirits Association were going for in creating the “Florida Bastard,” a limited edition whiskey blend that tells the story of the incredible distillers across the state.
“If you’ve been in Florida long enough, you’ve heard of the ‘Florida man’ stories,” explained Matt Allen, co-founder of Dark Door Distilling and treasurer of the Florida Craft Spirits Association. “We started out building it off of that.”
“Then we decided, let's not go with Florida man but Florida bastard. A true bastard for me means being from multiple different sources, which is how this process evolved,” added David Cohen, founder of Manifest Distilling and president of the Florida Craft Spirits Association. “I think we had about 12 submissions for this project. We ended up choosing eight. And the question was ‘how do you make different liquids kind of come together?’ Obviously it’s not going to work perfectly, but it’s a fine whiskey.”
Like all legendary bastards, the whiskey was born from multiple homes ranging from Amelia Island to Bradenton and points in between. The limited edition Florida Bastard is the first of its kind and was sourced entirely from eight Florida craft distilleries including St. Augustine Distillery, St. Petersburg Distillery, Dark Door Distilling, Manifest Distilling, Marlin and Barrel Distillery, Loggerhead Distillery, Kozuba & Sons Distillery, and Loaded Cannon Distilled Spirits. It contains a blend of straight bourbon, straight rye whiskey, straight rye finished in maple syrup barrels, and American single malt. The whiskeys range in age from one year with rapid aging technology to conventionally aged seven year.
“With such a variety of different whiskies, we had to marry together something good,” said Allen. “We just went to town trying to get a good blend and we did.”
And as an added bonus, the proceeds from the Florida Bastard bottle will benefit the Florida Craft Spirits Association and their efforts to support the craft spirits industry.
“We figured we could make the bottles part of a fundraiser where all the money goes back to the association. It’s not benefiting anyone’s distilleries. It’s strictly to promote craft spirits,” said Allen.
“We’re all small businesses and locally owned. A lot of our money goes toward educating the consumer on what craft producers and local distillers do, and then advocating for ourselves at the state and federal level. Often times we go up against much larger companies whether it’s retailers and other large brands who have different priorities than we will,” added Cohen.
Teaming up with RackHouse Whiskey Club to distribute the state’s first whiskey blend will allow whiskey enthusiasts nationwide to access the finely crafted blend.
“We are thrilled to make the Florida Bastard available to a wider audience and we couldn’t have a better partner for this initial release,” said Cohen. “We look forward to getting this unique, one-of-a-kind whiskey out to whiskey enthusiasts across the U.S.”
“RackHouse has always strived to support the craft distilling industry by telling the stories behind the brand,” said Dannie Strable, founder and CEO of RackHouse Whiskey Club. “We love seeing distilleries that work together and are honored to support the Florida Craft Spirits Association and collaborated release of Florida Bastard Whiskey.”
“We could never recreate this whiskey even if we wanted to,” said Allen. “It’s truly a collector’s item.”
“I would be curious how many distilleries have their own bastards,” said Cohen. “Like what if you released a bastard series and it was basically every distiller releasing a product that was kind of an accident. What do you do with it?”
Cohen might be onto something. But for now, get the Florida Bastard while supplies last. Bottles are $85 and will begin to ship mid-December nationwide excluding West Virginia, Utah, North Carolina, Mississippi, Hawaii, and Alaska.
All sales of Florida Bastard will go back to the association to continue to promote the association.
About Florida Craft Spirits Association
The Florida Craft Spirits Association (FCSA), was established to serve as the voice for the Florida handcrafted distilled spirits industry. The goals of the FCSA are to grow our community, represent our views and interests before policymakers, and promote awareness of our industry across the state of Florida. For more information, visit floridacraftspirits.org and via Facebook or Instagram @floridacraftspirits.