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New Projects With East Bay's St. George

Last Fall we had a major hit on our hands when we teamed up with St. George to release an oddball single malt that had been double-matured with an apple brandy barrel.  Now that the air has cleared and the frenzy has died down we've decided to hit the drawing board once again and see what else we could dream up for 2011.  When I drove out to the distillery yesterday, I caught Dave right in the middle of stirring up some Bourbon mash, so I decided to take a little video of that (which you can watch above) before dragging him away to do some barrel tasting.

Dave had already prepared a list of some barrels he thought might prove interesting.  We wandered through the racks of wood and located the numbers while I listened to an explanation of each one.  Some were standard 11 year old single malts that had a classic St. George character, another had really picked up a massive amount of bourbon wood to the point that it tasted more like Kentucky whiskey than single malt, but in the end it was the younger barrels that intrigued me most. 

About four years ago, a major California beer producer crafted a blend from two of their most famous brews that resulted in leftover product.  St. George was offered the surplus and decided to distill a drinkable, saleable beer into high-quality whiskey.  There are six barrels of this malt and the flavors are wildly hoppy.  At one point, Dave said it would make the ultimate shot for a Boilermaker!  While no plans were finalized, we did pow-wow with Lance for a bit to see if we could make something work.  Stay tuned.

Thinking I was done for the day, I was about to walk out the door before Lance pulled me over to a steel tank that held the result of their first gin foray.  In fact, their were two tanks that held two completely different gins - one a classic juniper-infused London style and the other a wildly-spicy, Indian-marsala-like spirit.  Both were delicious and both are one-time only products.  "That sounds like a job for K&L," Lance said.  A St. George/K&L double gin special release?  Wow, could it work?  Mixologists beware.


At this point, I really thought I was done for the day but all of a sudden a taco stand appeared with freshly cooked carnitas and a slew of different salsas.  I couldn't turn down a few tacos.

Stay tuned this Spring and Summer for some new and exciting developments!

-David Driscoll

Reader Comments (5)

Prepare to regret calling me smart! Looking at those lovely Ancient Age barrels brings-up something I've always wondered about but never asked: If ex-bourbon barrels are good enough for maturing single malt and pure pot still whisky, then why aren't ex-bourbon barrels good enough for maturing Bourbon? Other than it obviously benefits U.S. timber and cooperage industries.

February 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRN

Thems the rules. Not a matter of not good enough, a matter of law.

February 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid D

Understood. Was curious if any of your industry acquaintances had ever commented on the reasoning behind the law. I'll continue assuming that congressmen befriended by folk with crops of oak played a role:)

February 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRN

Oh man, and I thought I had a good day at the distillery last month when I organized a group reservation. I saw their talk of gin experimenting go by on Facebook and would love to get to try it! As for the beer whiskey (or whatever you would call it)... sounds very intriguing, can't wait to see what you come up with!

February 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa W.

Not sure, but I'll bet it's buried somewhere in the pages of Cowdery's Bourbon Straight

February 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid D

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