In Saison

Out of Saison
Click Here for distiller Ned Wight’s New England Sour cocktail recipe — lemon, egg white, red wine, and Saison whiskey.


New England Distilling takes Allagash beer and turns it into whiskey.

When Ned Wight got hired at Portland’s Allagash Brewing Company in 1996, he was founder Rob Tod’s first employee. In 2009, Wight started his own boozy enterprise, New England Distilling, and got talking with his old pals about collaborating: Allagash would supply beer for Wight to run through his copper stills. Test batches used big-flavored brews, but Allagash brewer Jason Perkins suggested trying saison, a delicate beer — sweet, yeasty, spicy. “I didn’t think those flavors would express themselves,” Wight says. “Then we tasted it and we were like, ‘Oh my god. That’s incredible!’” The current batch has aged three-plus years in barrels, and while those yeasty, spicy notes have mellowed, they’re unmistakably present. “It’s cool to see the evolution of it,” Wight says. “That’s really the idea behind this one.” New England Distilling releases bottles of Rack IV Saison whiskey on April 6, Saison Day, an Allagash-spearheaded national celebration of the beer style.

26 Evergreen Dr., Portland. 207-878-9759.


Will Grunewald

Will Grunewald is a senior editor at Down East magazine.