Drink This Now: Two Lanterns by Berkshire Mountain Distillers
The latest release is Two Lanterns, made with triple-distilled Samuel Adams Boston Lager and aged four years in bourbon barrels. The American whiskey follows BMD’s February release of Shays’ Rebellion, distilled from Sam Adams Cinder Bock rauchbier, then aged more than three years in former Utopias strong ale barrels. Both spirits are the result of a 2012 collaboration with the Boston-based brewery.
“After anxiously waiting for more than four years, we are excited to finally share the fruits of our teamwork for craft whiskey and beer lovers to enjoy,” BMD founder Chris Weld said in a press release. “We had a lot of fun working with [founder Jim Koch] and the Sam Adams team.”
It took around 25,000 gallons of the Boston Lager to produce the 1,000 gallons of Two Lanterns that BMD has bottled. It’s the first whiskey to use the iconic lager in the distillation process. To further display that Boston pride, the whiskey takes its name from the two lanterns Paul Revere famously lit in 1775.
Two Lanterns is available at Massachusetts liquor stores and bars now, and bottles are expected to trickle into neighboring states like New Hampshire, New York, and Connecticut.
Weld says the whiskey drinks a lot like the beer tastes, showcasing piney hop flavors alongside a gentle bitterness. The distillery bills the whiskey as clean as easy-drinking due to its prolonged time in barrels, with a floral quality similar to lychee nut and green grape.
“Chris is doing a lot of really cool things, and it was fun and interesting for us to see how the ingredients and flavor in the beer influenced the final whiskey,” Koch said in the press release.
The Berkshire Mountain team plans to host more than 40 tasting events to promote Two Lanterns before the year is out, so check in with your neighborhood liquor store to see if any land near you. The distillery also plans to return the used oak barrels to Boston Beer Co.’s Jamaica Plain brewery to be used again for future Sam Adams beers.
Following the effort with Sam Adams, BMD launched the Craft Brewers Whiskey Project last year, and the distillery currently has a number of Massachusetts beer-distilled spirits aging as part of that series. Keep an eye out for future releases of collaborations with Jack’s Abby Smoke & Dagger, Harpoon UFO White, and more.
SRP $120, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, 356 S Main St., Sheffield, 413-229-0219, berkshiremountaindistillers.com.