TerrePURE: ‘Traditionalists need to open up’


April 9, 2015

After my blog post yesterday regarding TerrePURE technology entering Kentucky, the company’s founder wrote a lengthy comment at the end of the story. I’ve confirmed Terressentia’s Earl D. Hewlette indeed wrote the response.

In a phone call follow up, Hewlette said he’s fully aware of the Kentucky statute that requires Kentucky whiskey products to be a year old and that he will abide by all state and federal rules. (A commenter in yesterday’s post provided the statute in question.) Hewlette says he wants to produce a Kentucky bourbon and even a Kentucky Straight Bourbon, which must be at least two years old. Terressentia will also apply for Kentucky Distillers Association membership, he says, and pursue traditional aging techniques.

He told me: “We want to be viewed as any other distillery and make {whiskey} as the same as anybody else, but we have alternative aging,” Hewlette told me. “We have consumers all over the world using {TerrePURE}. Big chains in Europe and U.S. are bottling it. We ship it {to them} in tankers.”

Below are his unedited comments from the previous post.

“I appreciate your calling attention to our technology but wish to clarify a couple of things.  First, Hatfield & McCoy is an American whiskey, not a Bourbon, so it’s taste profile will have more grain and heat than our
Bourbons. Second, we do not add caramel or any other coloring agent to our whiskies.  We draw color from the oak barrel.

“As for our Bourbons and Rye whiskies, at the 2014 San Francisco Spirits Competition, our 6 month Hayes Parker Bourbon won a silver medal and our 6 month Darby’s Rye won a bronze.  This year we entered three different rye whiskies and won one gold and two  silvers.  And a silver for our 6 month Hayes Parker Cherry Bourbon.  Plus two double golds for vodka and apple pie moonshine and a silver for blueberry moonshine. In 21 different international taste competitions since 2009, our products have won over 70 medals. So someone thinks our technology works.

“Traditionalists need to open up a bit more to innovation.  What we are doing does not in any way degrade the distillers’ art.  We need well made whiskey and other spirits as a starting point.  All we are doing with whiskies is replicating barrel aging.  We have found a way to take whiskies that have been traditionally aged for six months and create a taste profile that is equivalent or better than most 4 year old whiskies.  This is “commodity” whiskey, not Pappy 15 year old.  But if your goal is an affordable, enjoyable whiskey, why wouldn’t you want to save the cost of 3.5 years of barrel aging (warehouse costs, barrel taxes, time value of money, and the “angel share” losses).

“There is room in this industry for creativity.  The consumer will be the final judge.” — Earl D. Hewlette, CEO of Terressentia