A row of rye whiskey bottles are shown

South Hollow Spirits Launches “Otis”, the First of The Whiskey Project

Otis Rye:  The Proper Way to Celebrate Your Pooch

A row of rye whiskey bottles are shown
Otis Rye: The Whiskey Project starts to roll out

Our dog, Jiminy Cricket, is a 5 pound Yorkie, happy as a clam, and dumb as a rock. He requires little more than food twice a day, a couple of  walks around the block and a few throws across the room with his squeaky donut toy (chocolate, with sprinkles). For a real treat, we’ll take a long hallway runner rug out of the closet, lay it across the hard wood floor, and let him charge across the room on his “runway” for extra traction (and maximum donut catching speed). For Cricket, that’s heaven. For us it’s the least we can do. Literally. It’s a long rug. It’s a stuffed donut.

David Roberts Jr., on the other hand, knows how to celebrate a dog. To commemorate his beloved best friend, a 13-year old English Bulldog named Otis, David–always the over achiever when it comes to all things “spirited”–created a custom Rye Whiskey, named it after old Otis, and slapped a photo of the dog’s beautiful mug on the inside label. If Cricket heard about this, we have some serious explaining to do.

Launched in the middle of October, 2021, 135 cases of Otis Rye Whiskey joined the South Hollow Spirits tasty line of libations. The rye, which had been aging in 5-year old barrels, was finally released after spending quality time in a combination of four different finishing barrels–two red port barrels, a single estate white port barrel and a reserve rum barrel. The release, a complex blend of all four, is a crowning achievement for South Hollow Spirits, both in flavor and packaging. A large distiller is shownBut Otis, being the first release of “The Whiskey Project” won’t be alone on the shelves for long. Just in time to ward off winter’s whipping wind, two half barrels of the aged rye have been separated out to be released this December as cask strength single barrel releases, one rye spending time in the reserve rum barrel, and the other in the white port barrel, both to be released in very limited quantity, about 100 bottles each. Although the newly available Otis will be coming in at 90 proof, the two single barrel releases should be in the neighborhood of 105 to 115 proof. If all goes as planned, next summer The Whiskey Project will continue with a two bourbon offerings, one wheated bourbon and one a high rye, most likely being finished in a combination of red port casks, madeira barrels, a chocolate amaro barrel and the estate white port barrel. All the spirits of The Project to be sold exclusively at Truro Vineyards + South Hollow Spirits. Speaking of what’s currently for sale from South Hollow Spirits, let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

A man in a Nirvana t-shirt poses next to a cask
The man behind the magic: David Roberts Jr.

The Tail of Twenty Boats: South Hollow Spirits Rum Offerings

South Hollow Spirits loves to tell the tale about 10 rum runners being arrested in Dorchester Bay back in 1930. Crew member William Sovell posted his own bail, took back the boat and the rum, and headed to Provincetown, where 20 federal boats were dispatched to catch him. Sovell sped past the entire fleet and fled on foot into town, his boat left empty and abandoned. Inspired by the early Cape Cod bootleggers, South Hollow Spirits hand-crafts all of their products in their Truro distillery, in their small batch copper pot still.

  • Twenty Boat Spiced Rum Handcrafted from American organic sugar cane and molasses and steeped in spices from the nearby Atlantic Spice Company which include cardamom, vanilla bean, cinnamon, rose hip, anise, lemon peel, orange peel, allspice, and more. A multi award-winner, this spicy bad boy is recommended for sipping as is, but if you want to, rock it with some ginger beer, as a sangria egg nog or your favorite rum cocktail.
  • Twenty Boat White Rum Handcrafted  from 100% organic sugarcane in the French Caribbean tradition. Enhances your favorite rum cocktails and punches and is killer with lime and fresh mint.A line of liquor bottles line a shelf
  • Twenty Boat Amber Rum  Made from molasses and sugarcane juice, the more complex Amber Rum visits both Chardonnay and whiskey barrels which give it the aromas and flavors of vanilla and caramel nuttiness, and rich minerality. Great in any rum-friendly cocktail or for a mojito, but for the true rum lover, neat or over ice will do just nicely.
  • Twenty Boat Cask Finish Reserve Rum “No. 3” This barrel aged blend of molasses and cane rums is finished in red port barrels giving the rum a touch of spice with a deep cherry and blackberry finish. Limited to only 500 bottles, this reserve has been hand-crafted for savoring in a glass as is.
  • Twenty Boat Cask Finish Reserve Rum “No. 5” Also aged in a blend of molasses and cane rums, No. 5 is finished in estate white port barrels, giving it forward notes of honey and citrus, and a smoky, butterscotch finish. Like #3, this reserve rum was produced in very limited quantity intended for sipping and savoring on its own.
Empty bottles of various sizes sit in a window
The office of David Roberts Jr.

South Hollow Spirits Line of Dry Line Gin

South Hollow Spirits gins are made with juniper berries from Eastern Red Cedar trees–the very same ones that grow all over Truro, giving the area its majestic, forest feel. It doesn’t get more locally sourced than that.

  • Dry Line Gin Blended with local, organic angelica root (a root grown using composted grape skins from Truro Vineyards, this blend of of high quality botanicals is distilled from 100% sugar cane. Recommended for a “ricky”, a fancy shmancy martini, or just over ice in a big fat hammock.
  • Rosé Gin Their award-winning Dry Line Gin infused with the vineyard’s elegant rosé of California Grenache, making this unique combination 35% rosé and 100% delicious. Perfect over ice, in any classic gin-based cocktail.
  • Barrel Aged Reserve Aged for a year in American and Hungarian Oak wine barrels, this limited release, barrel-rested gin has nuanced flavors of juniper and citrus and is meant to be enjoyed on its own, and often.Bottles of liquor with awards are displayed

A Little South Hollow Beach Party, or After Party!

  • “Squeeze” Lemonade Cocktail What do you get when you put the Rosé Gin in a can and add lemonade? You get a mouth full of sunshine–just add sand! The perfect beach cocktail, this can of fun can be blended with ice into a killer frozen concoction!
  • Island Spiced Rum Cocktail Also available in a party-friendly can this cocktail is made using their award-winning spiced rum and is perfect for sipping on the vineyards great lawn–or anybody’s lawn, for that matter. Ya mon!
  • Amaro Marino Liquor An herbal liquor made from a blend of botanicals including local Atlantic Ocean sea kelp. Meant to be enjoyed over ice, and/or with soda and maybe a squeeze of citrus and a sprinkle of mint? Why not!
  • Amaro Cioccolate Aged in red wine oak with premium quality cacao from local confectioner Chequessett Chocolate, located just down the road. Also made from a blend of botanicals. Can be enjoyed over ice, or mixed with 2 parts Otis Rye and one part Campari, chilled, strained and garnished with an orange peel or cherry. Cheers!
An empty whiskey bottle sits on a table
Waiting its turn…



~ Tommy Dott is an innkeeper, restaurateur and award-winning food writer. He, his partner Ali, and their three Yorkies, Jiminy Cricket,  B.G. and Boujee, live on Cape Cod.