Muskegon-based craft distillery Wonderland Distilling is releasing its first-ever, distilled on-premises product — a limited-edition, single malt whiskey aged in apple brandy barrels.
Available exclusively at Wonderland’s Muskegon cocktail bar, only 60 bottles will be sold, at $64.99 apiece, with the distillery’s Single Barrel Club and Rocks Society members receiving first access.
Bottles release to members starting Thursday, Jan. 20, and open to nonmembers starting Saturday, Jan. 22.
The whiskey has strong notes of apple pie with biscuity overtones, Wonderland said. The spirit (41% ABV, or 82 proof) is smooth and velvety with a palate of rich fruits and baking spices and hints of rich caramel on the finish.
“Among the opportunities in the American single malt category is its variability from one distiller to the next. We see this as our chance to experiment and craft a distinctly Michigan single malt product that is as unique as the state we live in,” said Mark Gongalski, CEO of Wonderland Distilling. “For the more adventurous spirits drinkers, we’re experimenting with aging in different types of barrels and new processes with some of our releases this year and have more exciting releases coming soon.”
This release is the first Wonderland whiskey distilled and aged on premises. It incorporates 100% Maris Otter Malt, uses traditional distilling methods and takes the process a step further by aging the distilled product in apple brandy barrels, giving it a distinct richness and character.
“I’ve been using Maris Otter for the past 13 years,” said distiller John Walsh. “It was a fun project to make single malt with this grain. The apple brandy casks were a great way to finish this whiskey.”
Wonderland’s first whiskey releases are created primarily from individually aged, Michigan-distilled rye and wheat whiskeys from partnering distilleries across the state, hand-blended to create a specific taste profile. Wonderland also began distilling its own whiskey in 2020.
“Innovation and craft are key for our team,” said Allen Serio, chief marketing officer. “We created Wonderland to make really amazing and unique whiskey here in Michigan, and that’s what we’re striving to do here every single day.”
Wonderland’s cocktail bar, located at 1989 Lakeshore Drive in Muskegon’s Lakeside neighborhood, serves handcrafted cocktails created using exclusively Wonderland spirits, along with locally sourced meals and small plates focused on local ingredients. The cocktail bar also can create canned cocktails for guests to enjoy at home or on their favorite Michigan adventure.