Madison: Limousin Rye at Dancing Goat Distillery
When I was at Whisky X earlier this year, I came across Limousin rye from Dancing Goat Distillery. They said they were from Madison and I made a note to stop by their distillery when I visited. Last month I went out to Dancing Goat. They’re in Cambridge which is not far from Madison.
We met with owner Travis Hasse who showed us around Dancing Goat.
Like the other distilleries we’ve been to in Wisconsin, Dancing Goat has a large bar where you can hang out but Travis didn’t want to take away from the local bars’ business so he doesn’t serve too many cocktails in the tasting room. You can do a chocolate and rye pairing though. Travis raises an interesting point about distilleries and breweries being that new third space to hang out in– where the community gathers and how it affects more traditional restaurants and bars.
As we chip away further at the three tier system, I wonder how other states will deal with these new hang out spots that are often family friendly.
Dancing Goat has a column still (off to the left, not shown) but the star is the hybrid still that has a surprise or two!
I was fascinated by the custom necks for the still. Travis explained he switched them out for various experiments. The first time they removed the neck and was swinging it around, everyone stopped breathing until the new one was popped on. These things are not cheap so if there was an accident, you can only imagine the cost of replacing the parts.
In Wisconsin, everyone drinks homemade apple pie liqueur that’s like their limoncello. Travis bottled his and became famous. They also make a Cow Pie (chocolate, caramel, vanilla, Wisconsin dairy cream, Caribbean rum) and Cherry Pie.
I got a close look at Dancing Goat’s aging system for their Limousin rye which is based on a solera system.
As you can see, the barrels are all connected. As the angels claim their share, barrels are topped off with new make and then bottled when ready. So no, there’s no age statement for those who care about that sort of thing. The result though is a very smooth whiskey that is still spicy like any good rye should be.
I also found it was generally lighter because of the Limousin (French oak) casks instead of the white oak aged whiskeys I’m used to.
I enjoyed my time at Dancing Goat. I loved hearing about the local grain and barrels that are used. Also, Limousin rye is now available in Southern California! I also attended the launch a few days later in Los Angeles and had it as both an old fashioned and a whiskey sour. It’s great in those drinks or try it as a Sazarac, Travis’ favorite for Limousin.
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Thanks to Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau for the opportunity to check out Madison!
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