Talking Cedar is proud to be the home of the newest location of the Heritage Distilling Cask Club! This unique spirit-aging program allows members to customize a Heritage spirit of their choice in an oak barrel that resides at Talking Cedar.
New Cask Club members receive an empty ten-liter oak cask. They select the location of the cask in the Talking Cedar restaurant and assign the cask a name that is engraved on a plaque and affixed to the barrel for all to see. Then the real fun begins.
Members choose from three Heritage Distilling spirits that age well in oak: Sweet Cinnamon Whiskey, Bourbon or Rye. Then the customization begins. Talking Cedar has a menu of ingredients we’ll always have available, including dried and fresh lemon peel, vanilla bean pods, honey, jalapeno, raisins, dried blackberries as well as a variety of syrups and flavorings and more. The sky is truly the limit! Members are also welcome to bring in any ingredient they’d like to add to their cask.
Katelynn Spahn is Talking Cedar’s programs manager. “I was my first customer,” she says with a laugh. She and her husband opted to fill their barrel with Sweet Cinnamon Whiskey. She muddled two fresh peaches and added them to the barrel along with a cinnamon stick and a half-cup of oats. “The oats broke down and soaked up the spirit, then gave back a smooth, silky mouth-feel on the back of the sip,” Katelynn says. “It was really fun. The whole thing turns into an adult science experiment.”
Katelynn encourages new members to take their time considering their spirit of choice and the ingredients they’d like to add. “There’s no pressure to decide quickly,” she says reassuringly. She even keeps bottles of sample blends at the bar and pours them for tasting and inspiration. She’s always happy to talk to new members about successful blends that other members have created.
After you’ve selected your ingredients and Katelynn adds them to your cask, it’s best to wait at least two weeks before tasting your creation in order for your additions to start sharing their flavors with the whiskey. Some ingredients take longer. That magic will continue to happen as your barrel sits safe and sound at Talking Cedar.
Now is a great time to start your first cask. Once the holidays come back around, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind gift for the whiskey lovers in your life. You can pull about 20 pints or 10 fifths of spirit out of the cask. You could get even more if you choose to proof the contents down. (This process is a simple as a request on your part, and Katelynn takes care of the rest.)
“We want to offer something that’s unique in the brewery world,” Katelynn explains. “We want people to be excited not only because we’re the first brewery-distillery to be tribally owned, but also because we just keep making it a little more awesome.”
As of late February, Talking Cedar has about 70 members enrolled in the program. That’s 70 never-before-tasted concoctions made from delicious Heritage Distilling spirits! Members can enjoy a one-ounce taste up to once per day and pull pint- or fifth-size bottles as often as they’d like.
Members also benefit from a 20% discount on all Talking Cedar merchandise, discounts and member privileges at all of Heritage Distilling’s locations, and discounted rates on bottles of Heritage Distilling spirits when it’s time to refill your cask. Enrollment in the Cask Club costs $279 plus tax, for the first year. After the first year, the annual cost of enrollment is $220 plus tax.
If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Cask Club at Talking Cedar, or if you have any questions, reach out to Katelynn or one of her friendly teammates at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at our restaurant in Grand Mound. Just tell your host, server or bartender that you’re interested in the Cask Club and we’ll take care of the rest!