Lost Lantern launches American vatted malt

Vermont-based Lost Lantern Whiskey has launched a blended whiskey called American Vatted Malt Edition #1, made from malts sourced from six distilleries across the country.

Vatted malts – blended whiskies from multiple distilleries – are common in Scotland, but are still rare in the United States.

With the release of its American Vatted Malt Edition #1 on 15 October, Vermont-based Lost Lantern Whiskey hopes to stir up interest in the format in the United States.

Using malts sourced from six distilleries from across the country, the Lost Lantern blend was aged for two years and produced 3,000 bottles that will be offered at $120 each. The ABV is 52.5%, and the spirit was non-chill filtered and features no added colouring.

“The six malts are all quite different,” Nora Ganley-Roper, who founded Lost Lantern in 2018 with her husband, Adam Polonski, told db.

“They have a full range of flavours, including peated, Sherry cask and mesquite flavoured. We slow proofed it for three months. Making the blend like making a curry or a stew, giving the different flavours time to marry.”

Ganley-Roper says the idea for a vatted malt came as a “light-bulb moment” when the two were touring a range of independent distilleries.

The six distillers who agreed to take part in the venture are Balcones (Waco, Texas), Copperworks (Seattle, Washington), Santa Fe Spirits (Santa Fe, New Mexico,  Triple Eight (Nantucket, Massachusetts), Westward (Portland, Oregon) and Virginia Distillery (Lovingston, Virginia).

In a daring bit of ‘dramraderie’, Ganley-Roper and Polonski invited all six distillers to take part in the blending. They assembled in Denver to create the blend as a group, finishing the tasting and blending in one marathon day.

Lost Lanterns says that is not the plan for blending future vatted releases, which they would like to produce on an annual basis.

American Vatted #1 will be available in 40 states through two sources – Lost Lantern (LostLanternWhiskey.com) and Seelbachs (Seelbachs.com), an online spirits retailer.

The vatted malt represents the first whiskey produced by the partners. Previously, Ganley-Roper was a retail specialist and sales manager at Astor Wine & Spirits in New York City, and Polonski was a senior whisky specialist and editor at Whisky Advocate.

“There are approximately 2,000 distilleries in the United States, yet there’s no easy way for whiskey lovers to discover the best and most-exciting ones,” Polonski said.

“I kept dwelling on this idea and realised that somebody was going to do this sooner or later. It was clear that, between my experience and contacts and Nora’s palate and background in startups and operations, we were the ones who should do it,” he added.

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