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Coram Distillery Unveils New Wheatfish Whiskey
Glacier Distilling partners with Great Northern Brewing
Danny McIntosh, right, with Glacier Distilling Company, shows Pam Barberis how to use the bottling machine to bottle the new Wheatfish Whiskey at the distillery in Coram. - Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon
CORAM – The three friends who run the Glacier Distilling Company in Coram asked themselves a question after opening last year: What would happen if you tried to turn a great local beer into a great local whiskey?

The answer came last Friday inside the red Whiskey Barn on U.S. Highway 2 East.

Members from Glacier Distilling and Whitefish-based Great Northern Brewing Company teamed up to bottle the results of their partnership – the Wheatfish Whiskey. The two companies worked together over the last year to create a custom blend of the popular Wheatfish beer that was distilled into a 90-proof whiskey. After being aged in oak barrels for almost nine months, the liquor was unveiled on March 9.

The new whiskey joins four other liquors that are sold at Glacier Distillery. The partnership with Great Northern was a natural one. Ever since the distillery began operating in January 2011, Nicolas Lee, Danny McIntosh and Lauren Oscilowski have nurtured the “Drink Local” mindset.

“We wanted to make it a joint spirit. That’s the whole ‘drink local’ idea,” McIntosh said. “This really shows off their beer and shows off our distilling methods and whiskeys.”

Lee and McIntosh worked with Joe Barberis, the head brewer at Great Northern, to create the custom blend of Wheatfish that would translate to a nice liquor. The Wheatfish Whiskey was fermented in local wheat and barley, and the result is what Lee describes as a sweet and slightly spicy whiskey.

“This is my favorite whiskey we have,” Lee said. “And it just has a really unique story behind it … I think it’s a really nice spirit.”

“The blend of grains will just give a nice mellowness and different flavor to the whiskey,” Barberis said, adding, “I always thought this would be a cool idea.”
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