We sit down with Mark SoRelle of Saint Liberty Whiskey. During this Whiskey Conversation, we discuss their new whiskey Bertie’s Bear Gulch Bourbon. How it came about and its tie into historic women bootleggers.
This whiskey is part of their Bootleggers Collection that honors prominent women bootleggers. This whiskey pays homage to Bertie “Birdie” Brown.
Birdie was a woman of great courage and determination. She arrived in what was then the Montana Territory in 1898 from Missouri, a young, single, African American woman determined to make it on her own. Famous for the warm hospitality of her legendary parlor, Birdie carved out a niche for herself during Prohibition by brewing what locals called the “best moonshine in the country.” Her entrepreneurial spirit and determination to survive in a rough and wild frontier speaks to the tenacity of women and their willingness to do what it takes to survive and prosper.
That tenacity is what inspired Saint Liberty Whiskey, the only company honoring the stories of pioneering women bootleggers, launched its Bertie’s Bear Gulch Straight Bourbon Whiskey. While it is part of the Montana Bootlegger’s Collection Bertie’s Bear Gulch Bourbon Whiskey is distilled and aged grain to barrel outside Austin, Texas before shipping at barrel strength to Montana for proofing at our partner distillery in Lolo, MT.
This history steeped bourbon is aged at least four years in new white oak barrels and features a slightly smoky flavor. Triple pot distilled using a mash bill of 70% Texas corn, 27.5% Saskatchewan rye, and 2.5% malted barley from North Dakota. Proofed and finished in Lolo, MT using the same pure Rocky Mountain water Bertie used to proof her whiskey nearly 100 years ago, Bertie’s Bear Gulch Straight Bourbon Whiskey is exceptionally smooth with a balanced finish.
For us, the rye is the dominant flavor. Creating an earthy base with hints of brown sugar, a dash of fruit. Followed by bits of barrel char giving it some smoke before an easy finish.
Best enjoyed neat or in a classic whiskey cocktail like the Gold Rush.