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MB Roland

MB Roland Distillery is a craft distillery located in Pembroke, Christian County, Kentucky, which prides itself on being a completely "grain to glass" operation. This approach indicates that they handle every aspect of their production process, from the raw materials to the final product. Named after the owner's grandparents, M.B. and Mary Roland, the distillery is known for its unique and traditionally crafted spirits, which pay homage to both the heritage of Kentucky distilling and the owners' agricultural roots.

Establishment and Philosophy

The distillery was established by Paul and Merry Beth ("MB") Tomaszewski in 2009. Paul, a former U.S. Army officer, along with his wife, decided to settle in an area known for its agricultural heritage and proximity to Fort Campbell, a military installation on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Their commitment was to create authentic, Kentucky-crafted spirits, reflecting the local tradition and their passion for quality.

MB Roland Distillery sets itself apart by using local white corn in its mash, a nod to the regional agricultural practices, and they also implement a "no shortcut" approach to their production methods. This means that all of their products are cut to proof using Kentucky spring water and without chill filtration, ensuring that the natural flavours and aromas of the spirits are preserved.

Product Range

MB Roland's product line includes a variety of spirits, with a focus on bourbon and whiskey. Their offerings are deeply influenced by the Kentucky tradition, yet they're not afraid to experiment and introduce distinctive flavours and techniques.

One of their signature products is the "Kentucky Straight Bourbon," which is made using a traditional sour mash process and aged in charred new oak barrels. They also produce a "Black Dog" whiskey, which showcases a unique charred sugar maple finish. Beyond these, MB Roland produces a line of fruit brandies, moonshine, and seasonal releases that often showcase local ingredients.

Distillation and Ageing Process

Embracing traditional methods, MB Roland uses pot stills for distillation - a time-honoured technique that is labour-intensive but renowned for producing spirits with rich, complex flavours. Their ageing warehouses are non-climate controlled, allowing the Kentucky weather to influence the maturation process, with the fluctuating temperatures aiding in the expansion and contraction of the barrels, which imparts depth and character to the spirits.

Innovation and Sustainability

Innovation is at the heart of MB Roland's philosophy, particularly evident in their "Dark Fired Whiskey." Inspired by the local tradition of dark-fired tobacco, they apply a similar process to their corn, smoking it before distillation. This technique gives the whiskey a distinctive smoky flavour, reminiscent of the peated whiskies of Scotland.

Sustainability is also a key concern for the distillery. By sourcing their ingredients locally and handling every aspect of production on-site, they minimise their carbon footprint and support the local economy. Moreover, their commitment to a "grain to glass" operation ensures that they can maintain the highest levels of quality control and truly embody the craft spirit.

Community Engagement

MB Roland is deeply rooted in the local community, often hosting events and tastings at the distillery. They've become a destination for both locals and tourists who are looking to experience Kentucky's craft distilling scene first-hand.

MB Roland Distillery exemplifies the craft distilling movement's dedication to tradition, innovation, and community. With each bottle, they tell a story of Kentucky's rich distilling heritage while also writing their own chapter through creative techniques and flavours. As they continue to grow and develop new products, MB Roland remains committed to being an authentic and integral part of Kentucky's celebrated distilling culture.

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