Dean Long, co-founder and original distiller at Triple Eight Distillery, started producing The Notch in 2000. Dean, having previously run the still for Nantucket Vineyard producing fortified wine, decided he wanted to craft a world class whisky. Dean reached out to George McClements, former production manager at Islay’s Bowmore Distillery, to advise on technique for batch distillation. 8 years later Triple Eight Distillery released The Notch Single Malt Whisky, the United States first and only island malt whisky. The 8 year old was ceremoniously released on 8/8/08.
Notch Single Malt Whisky is crafted from Maris Otter, an heirloom variety of malted barley. The grain is milled and mashed on property at Cisco Brewery. The mashing process creates wort which is then transferred to Triple Eight where it is fermented and batch distilled through Triple Eight’s Arnold Holstein copper still.
Following distillation, the whisky is aged in various types of barrels. These include a mixture of used bourbon barrels sourced from our own distillery and others, such as Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam and Jack Daniels. Other barrels were previously used to store Cognac, Sauterne, various other types of wine, port and sherry. During this maturation process, Nantucket’s environment plays a huge role. Nantucket’s maritime climate is similar to the western isles of Scotland. The spirit is stored in wooden casks, which are susceptible to the island’s combination of Polar Maritime (cool and moist) and Tropical Maritime (hot and humid) climates. Triple Eight Distillery takes advantage of its unique situation by using ventilated warehouses, allowing the ocean breeze to mature our spirits in hand selected barrels. After aging, a portion of the whisky is sometimes double-barreled, or finished, in former Sherry casks or previously used wine barrels from Nantucket Vineyard.
The creation of Notch is currently being led by Randy Hudson, co-founder of Triple Eight Distillery and Cisco Brewers. Randy, was also Cisco Brewery’s original brewer. Hudson, recently served as the United States judging representative at the 2013 and 2014 International Spirits Challenge in Scotland.
In 2012, The Notch Single Malt 8 year was awarded “Liquid Gold” status in Jim Murrary’s Whisky Bible with a rating of 95.5 points. This gave Triple Eight Distillery the highest ranking single malt in the United States and just two points shy of the world’s best.
In 2013, the World Whiskey Awards declared The Notch Single Malt 10 year best American single malt.
In 2015 The Notch Single Malt 10 year was awarded Double Gold and Best in Category by the American Distilling Institute.
In 2015 The Notch 12 year was awarded Gold by the American Distilling Institute.
In 2015 The Notch 12 year won Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition.
In 2015 Triple Eight Distillery was named American Single Malt Distillery of the year by the Berlin International Spirits Competition.