Old Elk Master Distiller Shares Secrets for Success

Old Elk Master Distiller Greg Metze.
Old Elk Master Distiller Greg Metze.

In a sea of spirit companies that claim to have the best product, the key to standing out is to go against the grain and find different ways to curate your drink. One of the ways Old Elk sets itself apart from the herd is through their Slow Cut™ Proofing Process. 

Old Elk actually learned about the Slow Cut Proofing Process from Nancy Fraley, a master blender and consultant who works with distilleries worldwide on maturation and sensory analysis programs. Once she introduced the process to them, the Old Elk team then adopted their own methods.

Extra Time and Extra Love Delivers Better Spirits

“The science behind the concept is to preserve the very delicate and high volatility congeners that we work so hard to produce in our distillates,” explains Old Elk Master Distiller Greg Metze. “When water is added to reduce from barrel proof to bottle proof, heat is liberated into the product. Doing this in one or two steps, like most folks in the industry, liberates that heat all at once which can drive off delicate flavors.” 

At Old Elk, instead of one or two days, they spend weeks adding small increments of water to keep the liquid cool and save the delicate flavors. It’s the extra steps that the team take to deliver the best experience to their consumers.

Making World Class Quality Spirits

Photo Credit: Old Elk.

Old Elk’s Slow Cut™ Proofing Process has helped it create delicious and memorable whiskeys and bourbons over the years. Because of this, an exquisite portfolio of products have been developed, with four core categories of whiskey that are quite unique and different from all the others:

  • High Malted Barley Bourbon
  • Wheat Bourbon
  • Wheat Whiskey
  • Rye Whiskey

“We then complement these with our Master Series blends and our exceptional Cask Finish program,” Metze says. 


For Metze, the number one factor that goes into creating a good whiskey is the product quality. “The only way to achieve this is through proper training and experience. This applies to every facet of the production process from the selection of water, grains, and yeast to the actual methods used for mashing, fermenting, distilling, and maturation,” he says. 

Metze was fortunate enough to have received some of the best training from the Seagram’s organization over a 24-year period. With that training and experience, he has continued to apply his knowledge to the Old Elk tradition of World Class Quality products.

Old Elk Strives for Industry Innovation

Consumers are looking for innovation and the best product quality attainable when choosing their whiskeys and bourbons. According to Metze, Old Elk is built on two simple principles:

  1. Achieving innovation through unique mashbills, blends, and cask finishes
  2. Always hitting the quality marks because of the team’s experience, knowledge, and attention to detail

These two principles help keep Old Elk customers coming back for more. 

“We strive to innovate the industry every day. We have 2023 Infinity Blend coming to market next month, which is the third in a series that we started in 2021. We also have a new cask finish blend called Cigar Cut Island Blend hitting the shelves, following in the footsteps of our first Cigar Cut Blend, which launched earlier this year,” says Metze.


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