Grand Rapids distillery teams up with nature center for bourbon aged in maple syrup barrels

A collaboration between a Grand Rapids distillery and a nature center yielded a limited maple syrup barrel aged bourbon.

Long Road Distillers and Blandford Nature Center partnered for Long Road Blandford Maple Bourbon.

The bourbon is years in the making.

First, Long Road gave Blanford a whisky barrel to make syrup. When the syrup was done, the barrel went back to Long Road for the bourbon, which had been aging in a charred, new American Oak barrel for more than two years.

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"This collaborative barrel-aged version of our maple syrup is a huge hit with our members and supporters," said Jack Woller, the president and CEO of Blandford Nature Center. "Sending the barrel back to Long Road for aging a whisky is such a great way to extend this partnership to create something truly unique and amazing." 

A portion of the proceeds from Long Road Blandford Maple Bourbon will be donated to the Blandford Nature Center.

"The amazing outdoor natural space at Blandford is something we love to explore with our families, and we’re grateful to have them as a Westside neighbor," said Long Road co-owner and co-founder Jon O’Connor. "By collaborating with them on Maple Bourbon, we not only get to make an exceptional and unique whisky, but we also get to financially support Blandford Nature Center during these challenging times." 

Less than 150 bottles of the bourbon were made.

Preorders are open for Blandford Nature Center Members and Long Road Distillers Wayfarer’s Guild Members. Last year, Batch 1 sold out in pre-sale to members.

It will be available to the public beginning at 4 p.m. Dec. 15 at Long Road’s tasting room at 537 Leonard St. NW. in Grand Rapids.