4 Hands Brewing Co. Announces New Aged Spirit Brand: Withered Oak

Published Date

ST. LOUIS, MO (September 30, 2021) - 4 Hands Brewing Co., the St. Louis-based beverage company, announces today a new spirits brand with Withered Oak, a new innovative line of aged spirits. The Withered Oak brand has been thoughtfully crafted and curated by the team at 4 Hands Brewing Company and 1220 Artisan Spirits over the last four years. Withered Oak will launch with two exclusive, single barrel aged spirits: a 5-year straight bourbon whiskey and a 5-year rye whiskey. The brand will also feature a 4-year blended rye whiskey, aged in unique finishing barrels to add depth and flavor, to launch this winter. 

A limited allotment of Withered Oak Straight Bourbon and Rye bottles will be available for purchase at 4 Hands Brewing Co. (1220 S. 8th St.) on Friday, October 8th starting at 4 p.m. 1220 Spirits and Withered Oak will take over the first floor of 4 Hands Brewing Co., and STL Barkeep will feature specialty Withered Oak and 1220 cocktails for guests to experience. The Withered Oak Straight Bourbon and Rye bottles will only be available for purchase at 4 Hands Brewing Co. and not available in off-premise retailers. Select on-premise establishments will feature Withered Oak in a series of “Whiskey Wednesday” events (see more below). A 4-year blended rye whiskey will also launch this winter with a larger distribution footprint.

Withered Oak is the outcome of a creative partnership with MGP Ingredients, Inc., a leading producer of premium distilled and branded spirits. 4 Hands Brewing Co. and 1220 Spirits Founder and Owner Kevin Lemp sought out Sam Schmeltzer, one of MGP’s master blenders with nearly a decade of experience documenting, tasting and categorizing the world's best whiskeys, to identify the perfect profiles for Withered Oak. The careful consideration of whiskey barrel selections resulted in not only a unique blended rye, but the single barrel offerings. 

Kevin Lemp explains, “Our initial intention with Withered Oak was to identify an interesting selection of barrels for a 4-year blended rye whiskey. While working through the barrel inventory, we identified select barrels that were really special and warranted a single barrel release. It was somewhat of a happy accident, but we’re thrilled with the end product of not only our blended rye, but our bonus 5-year bourbon and 5-year rye whiskey.”

In regards to the partnership with the Withered Oak team, Sam Schmeltzer states, “Kevin came to me with an exciting proposition - free creative reign to select my favorite barrels among our vast selection. He said ‘I want you to do something that hasn’t been done before.’ That freedom allowed us to tap into some barrel selections to offer something totally different. It was a true collaborative process to dial in the flavor profiles.”

Kevin Lemp further states, “We wanted to choose from the finest catalogue of whiskey in the world and build a brand with integrity around it. MGP is the best partner for that,” says Lemp. “I like to trust talented people to express themselves. You can’t be in this business if you don’t value that. With the quality of the liquid in the barrels to start, combined with our team’s time and passion to finesse the finished product, we are thrilled to launch a sophisticated product like Withered Oak in the aged spirits space.”  

Staying true to the Withered Oak team’s reverence for high quality craft products, the inaugural 5-year cask strength bourbon and rye whiskeys will be released in very limited quantities. Each bottle has been individually filled and hand-stamped straight from the barrel at 118 proof. Aged for five years and meant to be sipped neat, Withered Oak’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey has notes of cinnamon, heavy caramel, and vanilla, with hints of oak. Withered Oak’s 5-year Rye Whiskey has notes of cinnamon, subtle hints of mint, clove, spice, and butterscotch, with a long mouthfeel finish.

“This is just the beginning,” says Head Distiller Andy Burgio. “Sam helped us identify a blend of rye and light whiskey for our blended rye that he’s never put together for anyone before. It’s a phenomenal product to begin with, but we have plans to put our own creative spin on the base spirit with unique finishing barrels.”  

Whiskey lovers can sample the Withered Oak Straight Bourbon and Rye at a special tasting event series, “Whiskey Wednesdays,” at exclusive partner restaurants and cocktail bars across St. Louis. Starting Wednesday, October 13 through December 20, St. Louisans can sample Withered Oak with featured cocktails created by the bar team at Brennan’s (October 13), <a href="https://www.junipereats.com/">Juniper and Scottish Arms (October 27), Whiskey Ring (November 10), Platypus (December 1), and more. The first official Whiskey Wednesday kicks off Wednesday, October 13 at Brennan’s in the Central West End, where a special Withered Oak and Brennan’s collaboration cigar will also be available alongside the single barrel whiskeys. 

For more information, visit www.witheredoakspirits.com