FRoknar is a young whiskey with very clean lines. It is simple, elegant, and uncomplicated—and entirely delicious. Far North Spirits deserves a pat on the back for taking control of what can be a complex and convoluted system, and making a whiskey whose intentionality is obvious and whose production is crystal clear—and which is delicious to boot.
Far North Roknar rye whiskey is just one of many appealing-looking drams coming out of Far North Spirits in Hallock, MN. Far North Spirits is distilling vertical integration to a T; with its “field-to-glass” ethic, Far North takes the grain-to-glass idea one step further, farming their own grains from which all of their spirits are distilled. All of their spirits (save their Alander spiced rum, which is made from domestic sugar) are made from non-GMO AC Hazlet Winter Rye. 80% of Roknar’s mash bill, Hazlet is a rye that was developed in the ‘90s, and which fares very well in cold Canadian winters due to its shorter stature and ability to avoid tipping over in extreme weather conditions. Considering Far North’s geography, choosing grains that can survive Canadian winters must have been imperative to their success. The corn that makes up 10% of Roknar’s mash bill is a mix of Blue River organic corn, and Minnesota 13, a non-GMO heirloom yellow dent corn, a variety that in 1936 “was the most popular variety in the US Northern Corn Belt”.