If you’ve ever had a glass of whiskey from Fremont Mischief Distillery, you can thank the captains of Deadliest Catch for its well-rounded flavor.
As Casey McManus and Josh Harris shared with NBCK5, batches of the company’s Storm Tossed Rye hitch a ride on The Cornelia Marie, The Northwestern, The Wizard, or the Brenna A. And they do it for a very simple and ingenious reason.
“It turns out the barrels of whiskey need to be rolled once a month to get the flavor of the barrels in the whiskey,” McManus said. “Well, on a boat you don’t have to roll it because the boat’s constantly doing this, especially in the Bering Sea. We’re going over 30 and 40, 50-foot waves all year round. You multiply that by two to three years on a boat ride. That’s why it’s Storm Tossed.”
And that’s about how long the special edition spirits stay on the crabbing vessels—about three years. The captains just leave them in the bow “and let the boat do the rest of the work.”
“The hardest part about the whiskey is not getting into it after a bad day of fishing,” McManus added.
Each Barrel of ‘Deadliest Catch’ Whiskey Comes Back with a Different Flavor
Patti Sherlock, co-owner of the distillery, shared that identical barrels of whiskey board the deadliest catch vessels. But the final products are completely different.
“The different flavors are all because of where the captains take their boats. Sometimes it’s rough waters, sometimes it’s smooth. Every captain does something different. And that’s what gives those whiskeys a different flavor,” she said.
Before opening Fremont Mischief, Patti’s business partner, Mike Sherlock, was a commercial fisherman himself. And because of that, he only supports causes linked to the ocean. Profits from Storm Tossed Rye have helped The Sea Scouts and the Seattle Fisherman’s Memorial.
And in 2019, the captains joined in to raise money for the Northwest Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association. The efforts were to support their friend and Founder of Trident Seafoods Chuck Bundrants, who lives with the disease.
“In 2013, we started this program to help people,” said Harris. “Any opportunity we can get to help people, help different causes, use that star power I guess you would say, to make a difference.”
And as fans of Deadliest Catch would expect, the captains are constantly in competition with their whiskey barrels. Once they’ve been properly thrown around by dangerous waves, fans get a chance to vote on which batch turned out best.
“When we harvest a barrel off the ship, and we taste it, and it’s really good, that’s incredibly satisfying. We love it because they all taste so different. And every one of them is good,” Patti shared.
McManus and Harris always hope that their rye comes back with notes of “caramel and dried tobacco.” But they’ve been proud of every batch they’ve tossed so far.
And they’re also proud of the fact that they save every last drop for their fans.
“Our boat though is the only boat that they’ve come back full every time,” Harris added.