“In 1982, there were fewer than than 20 distilleries in the United States. Today there are more than 2,000. When Jörg [Rupf] ran his first batch of eau de vie on his 65-gallon pot still, he didn’t just start St. George Spirits, he started a movement. In the years that followed, he also helped countless other distillers launch their own operations. Jörg’s legacy—creating spirits of uncompromising quality while helping blaze the trail for artisan distillers—lives on in everything we do.” – St. George Spirits
This California distillery, Jaxon Keys Winery, Charbay Distillery, and Germain-Robin were the four pioneers of the industry we know and almost take for granted today. St. George Spirits, under the guidance of Master Distiller Lance Winters, released its first lot of American Single Malt whiskey in 2000. Each year, St. George Spirits releases another as a limited edition, with this year’s bearing the badge of Lot 22.
The mashbill is derived from pale, crystal, chocolate, and black patent malts that were subjected to different roasting levels, and Bamberg malt that was unroasted, but smoked over beech and alder woods. That’s been the base of St. George’s American Single Malt since Lot 1. What makes Lot 22 different is the use of 26 different casks with vintage Kentucky Bourbon and Tennessee whisky barrels, along with both American and French oak casks that previously held apple brandy, port, and California Sauternes-style wines.
While Lot 22 carries no age statement, there are single barrels ranging in age from 4-1/2 years to 8-1/2 years and blends of whiskeys from 23 years ago. Proofed to 43% ABV (86°), a 750ml package has a suggested price of $99.99.
I’ve found the few American Single Malts I’ve tasted from this distillery to be tasty, and what it offers is definitely not a me-too whiskey. St. George Spirits produces the unusual. To see if Lot 22 follows the trend, we’ll have to do the #DrinkCurious thing. But, before that happens, I thank St. George Spirits for providing me with this sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review.
Appearance: A neat pour in my Glencairn glass revealed a brassy liquid that formed a medium-heavy rim before it collapsed into thick legs.
Nose: As I brought the rim of the glass to my nostrils, it smelled like I was at a dessert bar. Cherry pie filling, chocolate mousse, caramel, toasted coconut, hazelnut, and butter pecan rushed my olfactory sense, causing me a bit of sensory overload. When I drew the air into my mouth, I encountered orange rind.
Palate: A buttery texture greeted my tongue. Flavors of brown sugar, hazelnut, and almond were the first that I picked up, with white grapefruit, melon, and apple midway through. The back featured roasted coffee, milk chocolate, and clove.
Finish: The finish started with white grapefruit, ginger spice, apple, and French oak making various appearances. Most of it was short to medium in duration, but the citrus went beyond that.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: My only gripe with Lot 22 is its shorter finish. I was daydreaming through the nosing and tasting experience, and then it was over, leaving only the citric fizz behind. At the same time, this is my favorite of what I’ve tasted from St. George’s Spirits. Is it worth the money? Yup and all of that equals a Bottle rating. Cheers!
My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.