Five Questions with Max Kennedy Lents, The Baltimore Whiskey Company

7/27/17

By Lauren B. Ades, Member, PK Law

Speaking from the manufacturing operations of The Baltimore Whiskey Company on 2800 Sisson Street in Baltimore City, Max Lents provided details on the launch of the inaugural rye whiskey batch on February 6, 2018; their upcoming move and expansion; the equity raise campaign that is currently underway and the “secret ingredient” that will differentiate this product in the spirits industry. Free distillery tours, including product samples, are available each Saturday from noon to 4 pm. Visit www.thebaltimorewhiskeycompany.com to learn more.

Please provide an update on the Baltimore Whiskey Company.

The company opened for business in 2015 when we first started producing rye whiskey, along with several other products including Shot Tower Gin, Charles Street Apple Brandy and 1904 Ginger Apple Liqueur. Despite this relatively short history, we can now claim Baltimore Whiskey Company as the oldest rye whiskey distillery that is currently in production in Baltimore. The ownership consists of myself, Eli Breitberg-Smith and Ian Newton and we are each long-time friends.

What is the philosophy of the company?

Our aim is to bring high-quality whiskey distilling back to the City and create a sustainable operation. Eli was a professional brewer and is our head distiller, and I previously managed bar/restaurant Joe Squared. Ian’s strength resides in operations and finance. Our current production consists of three barrels per month, which allows us to create approximately 750 bottles with each batch. There is a lot to like about the product starting with its 100 proof. We only use 53 gallon barrels composed of charred American oak, combined with a very high percentage of rye malt, which provides a cool tropical kick. We feel very passionate about the wood selection to distill whiskey and believe it is the difference maker. Our production facility is designed to replicate early-American stills and scotch stills which produces an extremely dense flavor and complex spirit. This is paired with our open top fermentation and a product that is aged for two years minimum. We chose to not utilize any climate control in our warehouse during the aging process because we want to encourage the Baltimore climate to interact with the whiskey and be an actualreflection of the city.

What is the name of the new whiskey?

That is still a work in progress. As the first rye whiskey distilled in Baltimore in morethan 50 years, the name has to be as perfect as the product. Our potential list has been reduced to about twenty different considerations and hopefully we are getting close.

Discuss your upcoming move.

In conjunction with the release of our whiskey, we will be opening our new location at Union Collection in February 2018. This will allow us to scale up to a production level of 50 barrels per month. This is an amazing spot with the presence of Union Brewing and the other vendors and it provides the space we need to install the new equipment and ramp up production. The atmosphere will be electric and inviting.

Tell me more about the video posted in conjunction with the move.

We were trying to have some fun with the fact that we’re running out of space in our current warehouse. The response has been overwhelming to the spot and people want a sequel. We try not to take ourselves too seriously. For more information about the company, I can be reached at max@thebaltimorewhiskeycompany.com

Lauren Ades, a Member with PK Law and part of the firm’s Corporate and Real Estate Group, is part of the team providing legal services to The Baltimore Whiskey Company. She has significant experience in the areas of corporate and business law, commercial financing and real estate. She advises clients in mergers and acquisitions, private securities offerings, business formation and business and real estate transactions that range from the relatively simple to highly complex. Ms. Ades also has significant experience in tax planning, tax strategy and tax controversy. She has represented individuals before the Internal Revenue Service and the Maryland Comptroller.Contact Lauren Ades at (410) 339-6742 or lades@pklaw.com.

Greg Weiner, a Member within PK Law and Co-Chair of the firm’s Corporate and Real Estate Group, is also part of the team providing legal services to The Baltimore Whiskey Company. He represents emerging and established businesses in a wide range of industries including technology, health care, food service, breweries, and professional services providers. He assists them with mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, venture capital and private placements, contracts, employment matters and general business matters. Contact Greg Weiner at (410) 339-5785 or gweiner@pklaw.com

Pessin Katz Law, P.A. (PK Law) is the eleventh largest law firm in the Baltimore area and has been serving clients for close to thirty years. PK Law maintains full-service offices in Towson, Columbia, and Bel Air and is comprised of more than 60 lawyers, paralegals and law clerks. Practice areas include corporate law, real estate, zoning, education law, estate planning, elder law, labor and employment, litigation, insurance law and medical malpractice defense. For additional information, visit www.PKLaw.com

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