Mike Sherlock Owner, Head Distiller and Chief Mischief Maker!
How do you take something simple like rye grain and turn it into an exceptional award-winning spirit? It takes clever ingenuity, an investment of time, and a whole lot of handcrafted details at every step. Luckily Mike Sherlock is a master craftsman and enjoys tinkering with the complex equipment he uniquely engineered to create such a huge range of award-winning spirits.
“These are the only stills in the world with wizard caps,” Sherlock says, referring to the stills’ conical tops. These, plus other modifications borrowed from the fish-processing facilities Sherlock used to build, allow the spirits to attain a higher proof much more quickly. “When you see vodka that says it’s three or five times distilled, that’s not because it makes a better vodka,” Sherlock explains. “It’s because it’s necessary to reach a high-enough proof. For us, it only takes one run.” The result is a vodka smooth enough that, rather than being mixed in cocktails, can be poured straight in Mischief’s tasting room.
Even though Mischief makes a variety of spirits, Sherlock’s focus has always been on rye whiskey. From the outset, Mischief has sourced rye and barley grain grown by family farms across the Pacific Northwest. “The Skagit Valley has some of the richest soil in the world,” says Sherlock, who attributes some of his whiskey’s character to the rye grown there.
The quality of the grain, the attention to detail of every step from the milling, malting, distilling to the aging, you can taste the difference in each drop. Mike hopes you come by and see how a little ingenuity makes a mighty fine cocktail.