Old Elk, as a brand, isn’t actually old. Founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Curt Richardson (founder of OtterBox) the brand seems to have emerged the opposite way most new whiskey brands do–due to the fact that appeared on the scene with financial backing, business structure, and a boatload of distilling experience from the get-go. What kind of distilling experience? Oh, you know, just the casual 38 years of experience Greg Metze had at a particular large distillery in Indiana. This is from Metze’s bio on the Old Elk website:
After graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 1978 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Greg spent his entire professional career preparing for his Master Distiller role, which he achieved in 2002. The path took him from entry-level shift supervisory positions, to maintenance, engineering, and on to production where he learned the art of running a distillery.
Considering the craze surrounding MGP whiskeys recently, it only stands to reason that Old Elk will be bringing enjoyable products to the market once they come to age. Speaking of age, this product is age-state at five years. I have to give the brand credit for seeming to “do it right” in terms of bringing their product to market with an age statement, good price-point, and keeping the ABV percentage high enough that whiskey geeks won’t immediately be turned off. Another curiosity here that is unique to Old Elk is that you can see the label tells us this was distilled in Indiana. So we know this is technically sourced, it would have been distilled by the same Master Distiller. Just an interesting part of the brand I suppose.