Former MGP master distiller releases Old Elk


November 2, 2017

When Greg Metze resigned from MGP Ingredients in June 2016, the long-time distiller told me he planned to enter the lucrative spirits consulting business. And why not? Metze created the majority of the rye on the shelves. (His former Lawrenceburg, Ind., distillery sold his whiskey to bottlers who made millions using his whiskey. Read more on that business.)

Metze was first introduced to the public with my Kentucky Derby Museum Legends Series. It only took 40 years for the public to learn about this great whiskey maker!

For a long time, Lawrenceburg was a secretive plant and media was not allowed near it. That led to consumers unaware of Metze, perhaps the greatest rye distiller of our time, while non-distiller producers built brands around his delicious whiskey. I consider it one of my career’s crowning achievements to have written the first in-depth MGP story and introducing Metze to the world.

But I had no clue he partnered with a distillery to launch a new product. With this partnership, Metze is now exclusive to Fort Collins, Colorado-based Old Elk Distillery, where he serves as master distiller.

This new release, Metze tells me, comes from the mashbill of 51% Corn, 34% Malted Barley, 15% Rye and proprietary yeast. Char No. 4 oak barrels are used. It’s 88 proof with an SRP of $49.99. At the moment, it’s only available in Colorado and California. (Side note: I find it extremely unique to not launch a product in Kentucky.)

“The mash bill was developed as a collaborative effort between myself and Old Elk and distilled under my tutelage while Master Distiller of the Lawrenceburg plant,” Metze told me. “It’s blended with various aged bourbons ranging from 2.8 – 8.2 years.”

This is one “sourced” whiskey that the master distiller can truly claim they made it.

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