Corsair Quinoa Whiskey
Corsair Quinoa Whiskey is made from a mash of 80% malted barley and 20% unmalted quinoa seeds. While most of the malted barley (63%) is untoasted, two-row barley, the remainder is kiln-toasted and imparts sublime notes of butter and doughy bread to the whiskey.
In addition, Bell uses red and white quinoa (pronounced "Kin-wah") seeds that he sources from Bolivia. Quinoa is a type of plant that was domesticated in South America nearly 4,000 years ago, and has high levels of protein and dietary fiber. The Incas held the quinoa crop to be sacred and referred to it as chisaya mama, or mother of all grains (the Incan emperor would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season). "The quinoa seeds add a slightly nutty flavor to the whiskey," says Bell, "and nicely balance out the flavors from the barley."
After harvesting the barley and quinoa, Bell mashes and ferments the grains before distilling them through his custom-made, 50-gallon Vendome copper-pot hybrid still. The whiskey is then aged in new, heavily charred American oak barrels (the barrels have a #4 char), before Bell's team fills and labels each bottle by hand.