89 Proof (44.5% ABV)
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We are not aware of a product quite like our vodka. For starters, vodka is often a simple flavorless product designed to make some money while the real love of the distiller is aging in barrels. But this is in many ways the opposite. The recipe is 130 years old, dating to the grandfather of the grandfather of the master distiller. Family records, archaeology, and experimentation were all needed to recreate this ancient and unusual recipe. It would be called a moonshine by some due to its origin in the woods of Allegany County North Carolina. But, the TTB only allows corn whiskey to be clear. This product is not only based on rye, but it is generated using malted rye, a truly unique concept in the modern world. Because it is double distilled and majority rye there is no real place for it in modern language. The TTB decided rye vodka would be the best descriptor. We have tasted it extensively in many committees and have come to agree. It is smooth and clean, like a vodka, but someone with a good palate can taste the rye and grain characteristics. So, an ultra-premium artisan vodka with some flavor? We are extremely proud to release such a product, and although it is unusual, so are all of our other products, so it fits in perfectly.
The Black Bear Distillery is a family owned craft distillery at 7800 feet in the beautiful little town of Green Mountain Falls, CO. Run by a fifth-generation master distiller (the first to be legal) who also happens to be a master chef, this combination of chef and distiller creates unique flavorful products unlike anything else on the market. The twenty-foot tall 100% pot still run in a low and slow fashion adds depth and character to all the products, each of which have a different philosophy. The three tiers of our main line consist of an historic 130th anniversary artisan Rye Vodka, a lightly aged Gold Colorado Rum that is based on raw cane juice, making it lighter and fresher than normal rum, but with bourbon barrel age and a level of complexity and sophistication; and our flagship, a rich, sherry-finished Irish Style Bourbon made to honor the founder’s family history, stretching back to 444AD Ireland.
The Black Bear Distillery’s founder and Master Distiller, Dr. Victor Matthews is unique in the Spirits world. Not only is he a fifth-generation moonshiner, but he is the only Master Chef and Master Distiller combination in America; in fact, he is also a certified Dining Room Service Master, so as a TRIPLE MASTER (Culinary, Service, and Spirits) with a PhD he is in fact the only one in the world. Perhaps this is due to his palate, perhaps his family work ethic, or maybe he simply loves to learn, but the customers benefit from such expertise as some of the most creative and unique spirits in the world are created. Dr. Matthews lives in the house behind the distillery in beautiful Green Mountain Falls, Colorado with his family of six and several rescue dogs. He is active in his local church and runs the Theology Dept of a British College as well. Dr. Matthews is also the author of five books, including books on Bourbon and Italian Wine as well as cooking and theology. To date he has received a combined total of 30 medals in both culinary and distillery competitions, including 12 gold and several state and national championships.