Boar Creek Appalachian Whiskey: Meet Virginia Makers

Author: Will Dawson, Distiller and Owner for Boar Creek Appalachian Whiskey

E. Wright & C. Wallace Distilleries is the proud home of Boar Creek Appalachian Whiskey and Boar Creek’s Reserve Small-Batch Whiskey.

Our distillery is nestled down on a river in the Blue Ridge Mountains, on land that has been in my family since the 1680s. We are proud to say that we make every drop of whiskey in our distillery from scratch. Our mash is made from nine all-natural ingredients, twice the number of ingredients used in a standard American Whiskey mash.

We run the mash through stills I designed and built myself, a revised and enlarged version of the traditional stills that have been manufactured in hills and hollars by my family for centuries. We age the whiskey in red oak which has grown in the forests surrounding my family’s land, and is select harvested by us to ensure the long-term viability and ecological health of the forest. It is then felled and milled locally in a way that imparts the special range of flavors you can enjoy in the finish of our whiskey.

Our production methods are truly unique to our distillery. Such methods allow us to bring a whiskey to market that is truly different from traditionally styled bourbons and scotches, while remaining true to the foundational markers that make whiskeys so superb. Our attention to detail and the unique features brought to every step of the process is what allows us to make a whiskey unlike any other. Regardless of who makes it, each glass of whiskey you drink represents about a pound of solid grains that are left over from the mashing process. The leftovers add up fast.

We feed all our mash to pigs kept and raised on site. They live on about an acre of open land, with woods and a spring to stay cool in the summer. During the winter months, the pigs stay in a barn and some open acreage to lay out and bask in the sun. All our hogs are old world breeds that thrive in the outdoors, and have much richer meat than the pink yorkshires many people think of when they think of pink pigs. Ours are wonderful mothers to their piglets and personable as they grow up. They’re as much a joy as a necessity, and it’s always satisfying to sip on a glass of whiskey while watching them roam around their pasture.

By sourcing all of the ingredients from the Appalachian mountain range, all true Virginia-made whiskeys capitalize on two important qualities that the Appalachians give us. The water we draw on to nourish the crops that go into our spirits, as well as the water that is blended into the finished product is pulled from aquifers that draw clean, clear water from deep in the granite formations of the oldest mountain range in the world. While most people appreciate that the Appalachians are the oldest mountains in the world, many do not realize that geologically speaking, it is the same mountain range whose peaks push up out of the north eastern Atlantic to create the islands of Scotland and Ireland, granting us unique access to climate, soil, and mineralities identical to the legendary old world Whiskys known the world over from Cork to Inverness.

When you drink Boar Creek, you’re drinking a whiskey that is created in a unique way. This uniqueness gives it a truly unique blend of flavors, but you’re also drinking a story. When you bring your nose up to the glass, you’re not just inhaling a floral bouquet of apple and citrus notes derived from our unique distillation process with hints of caramel, you’re also experiencing a bouquet that was forged in earnest American effort.

Without any artificial colors or flavors, I can look you in the eye and tell you that every aroma you enjoy comes from our precise techniques, which we have painstaking honed ourselves over generations. When you take your first sip of our whiskey, not only are you enjoying a robust mouthfeel, and oaky notes on the back of your pallet, augmented by the pleasant aromas of rose hips and stone fruit which are from the red oak we use; you’re also experiencing what it tastes like when a whiskey strikes out on its own. When you refuse to compromise and follow the path of dogma, instead, blazing a trail into new territories, to find a new realm of possibilities for American whiskey. You not only find the truths that come from hard work and attention poured into a thing you love, but you also find the rich range of flavors that make our whiskey so unique. As you finish the sip of whiskey, the lingering aromas are a pleasant range of grapefruit and berries, with hints of plum and smoke. You’ll also feel the satisfaction of knowing that what you drank was made with care and integrity.

Not the words that you can look up in a dictionary, but the satisfaction of knowing that our whiskey is made without qualifications or asterisks surrounding its pedigree. The ability to know when you enjoy a glass of our whiskey, you’re enjoying something that was made by a person, for a person, without any gimmicks, because it would be as much an insult to us as it would be to you, to ask you to something that wasn’t truly ours.

I hope you enjoy drinking our Virginia spirit as much as we enjoy making it.