SF Chronicle: Is there such a thing as a California-style whiskey? Finally, the answer is yes

December 19, 2020

Spirit Works Four Grain Straight Bourbon Whiskey ($50/750ml, 45% ABV; Spirit Works Distillery, Sebastopol): This distillery, owned by husband-and-wife team Timo and Ashby Marshall, former merchant marines who worked with environmental nonprofits, opened in the Barlow complex of Sebastopol in 2012. Whiskey was always a goal for the distillery, and upon opening, the Marshalls began laying down whiskey in 53-gallon barrels. This bourbon from Spirit Works’ head distiller Krystal Goulart was first released in April 2020, as it took a few years to source the organic California-grown corn that is essential to bourbon. Aged four years in new American oak, this bourbon has the classic flavors of cherry, orange and herbal menthol typical in the style, buttressed with more grain flavor in the form of whole-grain toast with honey and light floral aromas.

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