Delicious California Whiskeys

Liquid gold from the Golden State. Sipping some of these drams wouldn't be a bad way to spend an evening!
Feb 14, 2017
  • 10
    10 Sonoma County Distilling Co. West of Kentucky Bourbon No. 3
    86
    Spicy
    The 3rd edition of the West of Kentucky Bourbon series from Sonoma County Distilling hit shelves in September 2016. This California bourbon is made from a mash bill of 60% unmalted Midwest corn, 35% unmalted Canadian rye, and 5% malted Wyoming barley. After aging at least a year in new, charred American oak barrels, it's bottled at 46% ABV.
  • 9
    9 Sonoma County Distilling Co. West of Kentucky Bourbon No. 2
    86
    Sweet & Rich
    Sonoma County Distilling was founded in northern California by San Francisco native Adam Spiegel in 2010. West of Kentucky No. 2 is the distillery's second in a series of annual releases. Like the first, it's made from a mash bill of yellow corn, unmalted rye and cherrywood-smoked barley. It's double-distilled in alembic stills by direct flame, which requires quite the watchful eye. The bourbon is aged in small, new charred oak barrels for over a year before being transferred to used whiskey barrels for further mellowing.
  • 8
    8 Low Gap 2 Year Bavarian Hard Wheat
    86
    Fruity & Spicy
    This whiskey is distilled from 100% malted Bavarian hard wheat on a 16 hectoliter cognac still, which for the layman is a fairly small batch. Three types of barrels are used for aging: new American oak, used Van Winkle bourbon, and used Limousin barrels previously containing Germain-Robin brandy. (As the barrels used for aging are used, this isn't technically a wheat whiskey in the US.) Brought down to 86.2 proof using rainwater.
  • 7
    7 Slow Hand Six Woods Organic Malt Whiskey
    87
    Sweet
    Green Bar's Slow Hand Six Woods whiskey is fermented and distilled from a 100% malt barley mash. Though it carries no age statement, its ageing process is unusual. The whiskey is aged in 1,000 and 2,000-gallon French oak vats with staves of hickory, mulberry, red oak, hard maple, and grape woods, all toasted in house, leading to influence from six different woods in total.
  • 6
    6 Re:Find Rye
    87
    Fruity & Sweet
    Re:Find is a line of spirits intent on finding existing products such as using free-run juice often discarded to produce a grape spirit for their gin and vodkas. In the case of their rye, they obtain the base ingredients from neighboring SLO Brew in San Luis Obispo though they ferment, distill, age, and bottle at their Re:Find Distillery in Paso Robles. Aged for an undisclosed amount of time in 5 gallon barrels and bottled at 90 proof. Sold in 375ml sized bottles. Review is for 2nd batch.
  • 5
    5 KROBĀR Cask Strength Rye Whiskey
    88
    Spicy & Vanilla
    KROBĀR Craft Distillery -- the name is a mash-up of founders Stephen Kroener and Joe Barton -- distills spirits in Paso Robles, California. The brand's cask strength rye is distilled to 125 proof and then left to age for two-and-a-half years in #3 and #4 char American oak barrels before being bottled at cask strength.
  • 4
    4 Sonoma County Distilling Co. Cherrywood Rye Whiskey (Batch #1)
    88
    Rich & Full Bodied
    This release is from the grain-to-glass producer Sonoma County Distilling in Northern California. The mash bill includes 80% unmalted Canadian rye, 10% malted barley smoked with cherrywood (hence, the name), and 10% unmalted Canadian wheat. Double-distilled in traditional Alembic pot stills, the whiskey is aged for at least a year in oak from Minnesota and Missouri with a 3rd degree char before being bottled at 48% ABV.
  • 3
    3 Old Potrero Hotaling's Single Malt Rye
    92
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Anchor Distilling released Hotaling's single malt in commemoration of the Anson Parson's Hotaling Building, which is one of the few to survive the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Though there is no formal age statement, the 100% malted rye whiskey from a pot still was aged for more than 11 years in once used charred oak barrels.
  • 2
    2 Charbay Hop Flavored Whiskey Release III
    94
    Herbal & Floral
    One of several entries into Charbay’s catalog of whiskey distilled from beer, this is the third release from Charbay’s 1999 series. It is comprised of 10 barrels of whiskey distilled from Pilsner beer 15 years ago. The whiskey then spent six years in new #3 “gator skin” char American oak barrels, then 8 additional years in neutral vessels before bottling.
  • 1
    1 Charbay Hop Flavored Whiskey R5 Lot No. 3
    94
    Floral & Herbal
    One of several entries into Charbay’s catalog of whiskey distilled from beer, this is the third lot of the R5, a whiskey double-distilled Bear Republic Brewery's Racer 5 IPA. This lot was distilled in 2012 and bottled in 2014. It has been aged 28 months in French oak.