Heath Schneider from Iowa Legendary Rye makes his whiskey using his grandmother’s prohibition-era recipe (which yielded over 300 gallons a day) but legend has it that the still she used and 15 barrels of her whiskey was buried nearly 90 years ago to avoid being caught by the federal government.
Last year Iowa Legendary Rye commissioned search specialists to locate the missing still and barrels. A specially trained sniffer dog following the scent of rye discovered the buried still last week, along with charred oak consistent with the material used to make rye barrels.
Schneider continues the search, as he hopes to find at least one of the 15 barrels intact. “Just three molecules from the barrel can produce the exact same yeast,” he said. “We’re 95% of the way to making our rye exactly like she used to. Having that yeast is the missing link.”