Last Friday, I used my day off to head over to Alameda and check over on the boys from the Bay's most beloved distillery. Not only did I want to take my wife out to nose the view and taste the sights, I also wanted some answers to a few questions: when would the next batch of Firelit be ready? What did the new Aqua Libre rum taste like? Were we still planning on bottling a private barrel of whiskey? Could I drink as much free booze as I wanted?
When we arrived, Dave Smith was ready with all of the answers I came seeking. His new batch of Firelit coffee liqueur was made with a different bean - some dark African roast if I remember correctly - but still really delicious. We watched it sway to and fro in the maceration tank as we sipped on samples fresh out the beaker. They plan on bottling this week so it shouldn't be too much longer. The Aqua Libre rum is due in stores this week and is made in the agricole style from fresh cane juice, rather than molasses like most rums. These are not rich, dark, or sweet caramel spirits, but rather bold and assertive flavors that are made to mix rather than sip. For the style after which they are modeled, they are flawless recreations. I can't wait to taste them in a cocktail at the Bar Agricole opening tomorrow.
As for a private barrel, I'm still trying to convince Dave to give me his own special project: a whiskey aged partially in bourbon barrels with a second maturation in apple brandy wood. He is reluctant to part with his "baby," but Lance seemed keen on making a splash, so we'll see where this goes. Point is - we will be doing a K&L exclusive St George whiskey in the future with some frankensteinian creation they've strung together in that mad laboratory of theirs.
If you haven't been out to St. George, it's a great day trip. You should treat yourself.