It has been a long seven years for Keith Bodine, owner of Sweetgrass Winery & Distillery in Union.

Seven years ago, Bodine laid down a batch of single malt whiskey, then sat back to watch it age. Other Maine distilleries have produced whiskeys since then, but when Bodine’s Sunk Haze brand is released Oct. 3, it will be the longest-aged in the state. You can get one of the first tastes at a release party the Bodine family is hosting from 4 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 3 at its Union distillery, 347 Carroll Road.

Sunk Haze is made from Maine-grown barley and aged in oak barrels. Bodine said it tastes of caramel and vanilla, with peppery, spicy notes. It’s more like Irish whiskey, he said, “not peaty like Scotch.”

“It is unique because it really does seem to reflect the grain that we grow here,” he said.

The whiskey is named after a local place name, a low point in Union near the St. George River called Sunk Haze. Bodine likes to use local place names on his products, such as his Back River gin.

For now, the whiskey, which sells for $54.49 a bottle, will only be available at the release party, and at Sweetgrass Farm in Union and at the Sweetgrass Old Port store in Portland beginning Oct. 4.

“We only have an extremely small amount,” Bodine said. “We’re probably looking at around 400 bottles for this release.”

The Oct. 3 tasting includes Sunk Haze whiskey, as well as an array of hors d’oeuvres and local treats that pair well with whiskey, such as Duck Trap smoked salmon and oysters. Tickets cost $10 and are available through

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