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"Hazard" a Guess at What's on Offer...

June 10, 2021

Hazmat—short for hazardous material.

This is a term we have heard with such great repetition in 2020, it no longer sends a shiver down most people’s spine.

Typically, it refers to the kit one must wear when handling said hazardous matter—the gloves, rubber boots, overalls, respirator, and facial protection. Armor made to shield us from pernicious danger. It’s our modern-day chainmail, if you will.

This week—to lift our spirits—we here at Reservoir suggest tossing this typically baneful word over to the side of the ledger that holds words and phrases inviting people to rub their hands together with glee, rather than hand sanitizer.

On September 30th, we’re introducing one more beautiful whiskey from our Grey Ghost series. We’ve scoured the warehouse in search of old barrels with the highest proof spirit and have scored bigtime.

Reservoir Distillery Hazmat Whiskey

If you’re new to the term “hazmat” in the whiskey world, here’s some key clarification.

An American distillery of whiskey, by law, must fill their casks with new make spirit no higher than 125 proof. What happens after that, during the time of aging and maturation, is often dictated by warehouse conditions and Mother Nature’s fickle ways.

The spirit may rise or lower in proof depending upon factors such as temperature and humidity.

When the conditions in the warehouse allow water to evaporate at a higher rate than the alcohol within the cask, the proof of that spirit rises. And if it rises higher than 140 proof, it then falls under the term “hazmat,” coined by great whiskey geeks who discovered they could not bring their bottles onto an airplane.

We understand the rush of excitement with locating such a bottle, and we understand the pure delight in making one too.

Therefore, with so few bottles available, and no great desire for airplane travel currently, we’re encouraging you to pop on down to the distillery (no hazmat suit needed—just a mask), or let us ship you one of these beauties right to your front door (if you live in Virginia).

This particular Hazmat has been bottled from 3 ½ year old Hunter & Scott 5-gallon barrels. With a mashbill of 75% corn, 20% wheat, and 5% rye, the nose lifts notes of sweet dough, vanilla and cinnamon into the air, the body is coating and warm, syrupy with cotton candy, and the finish brings with it a blushing maple syrup and molasses rush of heat.

At 141.5 proof, our Grey Ghost Hazmat bottle will transform your idea of words that can be thrilling and chilling at the same time.

Join us in raising a glass to combat the shiver of autumn with the heat of our Hazmat.


~Shelley Sackier: Director of Distillery Education