BRANCH,La. (KLFY)– In 2018, a family in Branch, La. started making spirits from rice. Now, J.T. Meleck vodka is a Louisiana household name.
The distillery is now adding whiskey to their repertoire, which is what they wanted to make from the beginning.
The family business dates back to 1896, according to their website, when J.T. Meleck was synonymous with rice farming.
“Somebody one day said I wonder if we can make spirits out of this. Vodka specifically. I guess the timing was right and I just had to go find out,” says Mike Fugue, owner of J.T. Meleck.
The original business plan was to make whiskey because there was no one in the market making a brown spirit with rice.
Vodka only takes about 30 days to make whereas whiskey takes anywhere between 4 and 8 years.
Now, the wait is finally over. The distillery will be releasing about 1000 bottles of their first special edition whiskey. The main release will come in May 2022.