J. Henry & Sons claims Wisconsin’s top craft award

Daily News Staff

Sept. 13, 2017

J. Henry & Sons’ Patton Road Reserve, based in Dane, was judged as Wisconsin’s top craft whiskey in a competition judged by the American Craft Spirits Association in Chicago, the company announced Tuesday.

The competition was sponsored in part by the Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board and drew more than 75 whiskey entries from 10 states. Spirits were evaluated within appropriate categories (bourbon, corn whiskey, etc.), and top state medals were awarded to those achieving the highest scores in their respective states.

“Competition entries exceeded our expectations by quite a bit so medalists persevered from a large pool,” said Margie A.S. Lehrman, executive director of ACSA, in a news release. “Today, each of these states has a group of craft spirits distillers that produce high-quality whiskey, so claiming best of state is a significant achievement.” The competition was limited to spirits that use corn as an ingredient in the distillation process. Other Wisconsin craft distilleries to medal included Great Northern Distillery (Dane), 45th Parallel Distillery (New Richmond) and Driftless Glenn Distillery (Baraboo).

“Our goal was to send a message that corn is used in a diverse range of products and our industry supports those who support us,” said Cal Dalton, Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board president, in the release. “We are pleased that Wisconsin performed well at the competition and we encourage all our neighbors to sample our state’s craft spirits products responsibly.”

“ACSA thanks the Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board and the other corn groups for supporting our burgeoning industry and the small businesses that compose it,” Lehrman added. “Our members’ products are made from grain, largely from the states in which they manufacture, and oftentimes our producers have personal relationships with the local farmers planting the seeds. High quality ingredients, with a bit of ingenuity from the producers, result in stellar spirits.”