Published Date

November 19, 2019

Dessa’s Hand Shadow Rye Whiskeyis a collaboration between RockFilter Distillery and the musician and writer Dessa. Bottles will be on shelves starting Tuesday, November 19, to celebrate the release of Dessa’s new album Sound the Bells, recorded live in collaboration with the Grammy-winning Minnesota Orchestra. 



Dessa is a touring musician, a writer, and a proud member of the Doomtree collective. In the past few years, she recorded a song for The Hamilton Mixtape; contributed to the New York Times and National Geographic Traveler; published My Own Devices, her memoir-in-essays; toured the US, Europe, China, and South Africa; and delivered a TED talk that’s been viewed over a million times. 



Based in Spring Grove, Minnesota, RockFilter Distillery is guided by a deep commitment to healthy land, honest business, and bottled excellence. It’s farmer-owned and farmer operated, which means one small, dedicated team plants, harvests, distills, bottles, and labels each rye and bourbon by hand. It’s a proudly independent operation, from seed to sip. 



Dessa’s Hand Shadow Rye Whiskey is a blend of rye, triticale and corn, aged in 15-gallon white oak barrels and finished in ruby port casks. All the grain was organically grown in Minnesota (same with Dessa and RockFilter). The name was drawn from one of Dessa’s lyrics in the title song of the new album, “Sound the Bells:” 


Looks like our writing on the wall

is lorem ipsum after all

A higher tide will wash it all--

wash it all away.

The lighthouse keeper's last relay:

hand shadows and a final wave

Now's the time to rouse yourself

spend the strength you've saved.

This is a limited-edition rye, with only a few hundred bottles for sale. It will be available at select liquor stores in Minnesota, from the RockFilter cocktail room, and by mail order when allowed by purchaser’s state law. It is also the second collaboration between Dessa & Rockfilter, the first being a bourbon called "Time & Distance" which was released to celebrate the release of her book, ‘My Own Devices.’ That bourbon was limited edition as well, and sold out quickly.



To learn more about RockFilter Distillery (including their recent awards and the enticements of their cocktail room), visit or follow on Facebook and Instagram at @rockfilterdistillery.