Castaway: Abby Titcomb

Abby Titcomb at 3 Floyds

American Whiskey sends Abby Titcomb of 3 Floyds Distilling Co. off to its desert island, but what will she take?

Abby Titcomb’s love for distilling was borne out of joining the team at 3 Floyds Brewing Co. in 2010. When the Indiana-based brewery took the step to launch a distillery in 2017 she stepped into the role as head distiller of 3 Floyds Distilling Co., showcasing the talent and passion that has rightfully positioned her there. Time to find out what will be keeping Abby company on our island. 

Whiskey #1

6 Year Single Barrel Rye 111 Proof

I mean, have you ever had the privilege of trying this? It’s a forehead-slapping no-brainer for me. The first time I had this particular bottle, I was in Louisville for a distiller’s conference and the bartender asked if I was okay after I took the first sip – I’m pretty sure I looked like I just witnessed the second coming of Dio or something. Drew Kulsveen is a true master of distilling, and the Willett family is not only legendary, they’re incredibly kind, wonderful and generous people. Alice once sent me on my six-hour drive home to Chicago with an entire Bourbon chocolate pie. Only half was left by the time I got home. 

Whiskey #2

Heaven Hill 
White Label 80 Proof

It doesn’t get much better as far as “bang for your buck” goes – the taste doesn’t match the price. It’s kinda spicy, burnt caramel-y, and has an almost rye-like aroma – unfussy where it counts. Coincidentally, the bottle fits perfectly in the inside pocket of a Levi’s denim jacket when you’re, say, running around a 10,000-attendee annual beer and metal fest in 40-degree pouring rain, and you need something to not only give you the inner sweater feeling, but to also cut through the molasses and motor oil consistency of a beer that rhymes with “Lark Dord”. 

Whiskey #3

Yellow Spot 
12 Years Old

Bartending in Chicago for years (before my brewing and distilling career started) was like being baptized in Irish whiskey on a nightly basis. Needless to say, I was burnt out on the stuff – until I tried this. A sipper, with dried apricots and cherries, fig, a little vanilla on the nose and a more robust body than the 4am shots I was used to. Thank the lord.

Whiskey #4

Antique 107

You ever drink something and the first thing that crosses your mind is, “Whoever made this can probably kick my ass and wipe the floor with my feeble liver”? This is that.

Whiskey #5

3 Floyds
Divine Rite Barrel-Aged Whiskey (straight from Barrel #9 at whatever age it is at the time)

It would be dumb of me to not get in a shameless plug, right? My firstborn. As I write this, our first batch in the market is two years old. At 97-ish per cent malt, it drinks a lot like a Bourbon. Toffee and smoke on the nose, vanilla, crème brûlée crust and marshmallow in the mouth, with a burnt-to-oblivion balsam wood finish. (I’ve stolen this description directly from our Instagram, sue me.) We’re brewers first; sickeningly meticulous from grain to glass and everything is done with intention. Oh my god, why on earth is this one my biggest struggle to write about? Just drink it. Seriously, it rules.

A Luxury Item

I’ve always considered myself an excellent and easy traveller until thinking about the answer to this. Is it assumed that there’s shelter on the island? Is there food and potable water? Is there glassware for the whiskey or am I just straight rippin’ from the bottle? Is there soap? Is there sunscreen? Am I stuck on the island forever? Should I consider a form of transportation as my luxury item? Does a plane count? In which body of water is this island situated? Are survival items à la Naked and Afraid considered luxury? What about a machete? Is machete SOP training assumed? My god, I am a nightmare. Machete. The answer is “machete”

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