The Acadiana distillery releases a full batch of whiskey made from rice


Acadiana distiller JT Meleck Distillers has released a full batch of its rice whiskey just in time for the holidays, the company said after a small batch of the whiskey sold out last year.

The 100 percent rice whiskey is harvested, distilled and bottled in Louisiana. It is JT Meleck’s second rice-based spirit, along with its rice vodka.

“With our new American Rice Whiskey, we’re offering our very best to share with family and friends this holiday season,” said Mike Frugé, founder and owner of Frugé Spirits, owner of JT Meleck. “We were patient in our process to bring to market a rice whiskey that was as good as possible, authentic to our Louisiana brand and true to our family history. We give you what we have direct; we hope you enjoy it.”

The distillery released their Founder’s Small Batch Edition of the whiskey last year. It was sold out.

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Whiskey is usually made from grains such as barley, corn, rye or wheat. The company said it’s quite unusual for an American distillery to use rice as part of their mash, and no US brand has commercially made an all-rice whiskey.

But like other American whiskeys, JT Meleck is aged in 53-gallon oak casks for almost five years. It has an amber color and aroma with characteristics of custard cake and white chocolate pudding. In terms of flavor and texture, it’s smooth with hints of butterscotch, caramel, crème brulee and dark chocolate with some spice, the distillery said.

With the release of the full batch, the whiskey will be available year-round at select retailers in Louisiana and Arkansas.

The whiskey has an alcohol content of 96 proof and 48% alcohol by volume. A bottle generally costs around $47.

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Fred Minnick, a whiskey reviewer and founder and head taster of the Ascot Awards, said in a JT Meleck press release that the whiskey is an excellent choice for any whiskey lover.

“This is one of the most intriguing new whiskeys I’ve tasted, not just all year but in my career… If you’re a whiskey lover, this is a bottle you’ll want to chase,” Minnick said in the press release. “If you’re a bourbon lover. I think there are enough sweet notes in here… I think you would love it.

JT Meleck Distillers was founded in 1896 when John T. Meleck began growing rice on 20 acres of swampland in southern Louisiana. Five generations later, the family is still growing rice — and now crayfish — on the same 20 acres owned by “Uncle John.”