Etna distillery's first whiskey was well received

Kelsey Shelton
Janell Roseman was the first customer to pick up three bottles of The Devil's Tell from bar program manager Pamela Montalvo.

Denny Bar Co. in Etna released its first ever whiskey to the public on Saturday with hundreds of people lined up in anticipation to taste and purchase the limited edition liquor. According to a press release, The Devil’s Tell “truly celebrates the artist – honoring the craft and skill of paint on paper, poetry and patience as grain and oak marry over time.”

“What do you think?” distiller and Denny Bar co-founder Sparrow Tang asked over and over again as bar program manager Pamela Montalvo poured samples for patrons. The Devil’s Tell, which is a 94 proof, 21 percent rye, three-year aged whiskey, was described as having a flavor profile of “spicy in the front, sugary in the back,” which is accurate.

The release was a limited edition two barrel batch, which yielded a limited 395 bottles for purchase.

Tang and his partner, Cole Laustalot, as well as Montalvo and marketing manager Lance Banks were all on hand for the whiskey’s release.

The whiskey, the first in a three-part series dubbed “The Crossroads,” was aged for three years, one year longer than the state required two.

“This is the most exciting day for Denny Bar in a while,” said Montalvo. Musician Dayton Mason provided soothing acoustic gypsy-jazz, the perfect choice of music to set the mood.

Yreka artist Mimi Bailey signed whiskey bottles which featured her art. Bailey had initially worked with Denny Bar Co. as their sign painter and muralist. The art for the series will change with each bottle release.

“The Crossroads” series unfolds into a multi-dimensional story of a card game. The Devil’s Tell will be followed by The Angel’s Call and The Devil’s Fold. Each bottle will not only feature custom artwork, but is also accompanied by a poem that tells the story.

When asked whether or not the special batch will be offered at the Denny Bar Co. restaurant, Tang said he hoped there would be some left after Saturday’s event.

According to Lance Banks on Monday, some of the special batch is still available.

“We sold over half of our bottle inventory during this event, and yes, we have a limited quantity of bottles still available, signed by the artist Mimi Bailey,” Banks added.

Banks had nothing but appreciation for those who attended. “We truly appreciate everyone who was able to join us to celebrate the release of our first whiskey ... The event was a smashing success because of your generous support,” he said.

Banks also thanked Bailey for sharing her talent “and spending hours signing bottles for all of us.”

He thanked Mason for his music and Butch Jones for sharing his cowboy poetry.

“We’re looking forward to seeing everyone again for the second bottle release party on Saturday, Dec. 14,” Banks said.

The third and final release of The Devil’s Fold will be on Feb. 15, 2020.

Denny Bar Co. has set aside 100 bottles of each batch to create limited commemorative sets, which include an artist series box containing the three whiskeys.