Thanks to someone… Sorry, I can’t find who poured this for me.
St. George Spirits Baller is an American single malt whiskey made to mimic the Japanese whiskey craze.
Please don’t leave, don’t leave. I get it, I get it: You’re an American whiskey fan. You want something made in Kentucky or Tennessee, mostly corn, following standards that I personally love, and making it taste great.
Instead today we have something different: A California based distillery making a 3-year-old single malt that is made to go in highballs. What’s a highball? Whisky mixed with soda or water and ice. Yeah, watered down whisky.
Stick around, we’re going down a rabbit hole.
What else? Well it’s filtered through charcoal, uses roasted barley to add smoke, and finished in plum liqueur cask.
The real question we have: Did they figure out something? Did they, in fact, make a whisky that can compete with the Japanese whiskies that people go nuts for?
Sure, it’s not a bourbon, and it’s breaking about every single rule, but that’s what makes America great. At times. In small doses. As long as we’re not applying nuance. And maybe we should and understand the impact before moving forward.
Fuck it, let’s just try this and see if they figured it out, shall we?
Colour: 2.5Y 9/4
Nose: Grapefruit, smoke, floral, algae
Some nice acidity, some smoke, and a floral/vegetal note here and there. It’s not too strong. Also it’s not close to what I’m used to from the US, which makes splitting this with my father an unwise decision.
Not the first. Nearly threw a chunk of cement through one of the new windows when I was a teen, he’ll get over it.
It’s light. That’s close to some Japanese whiskies out there. Wonder if it’s also made mostly with Canadian whisky to cut costs (this is a joke, it isn’t).
Taste: Rockets candy, watermelon, smoke, black pepper
Sweet, bit light on the fruitiness, more smoke and black pepper. Simple, if nice to sip on. Takes to water well, which means that it makes an okay highball. Granted most whiskies do, though none as much as Toki. This has to work to get to Toki levels.
Finish: Anise, grapefruit, malt, hops
Spice, some malt, some bitter notes. It’s easy to sip, if simple. The malty sweetness is doing a lot of heavy lifting.
Conclusion: Well.. that’s a thing, I guess. It kinda does what you want. Compared to a Japanese whisky? Sure, it does the same. On that it works. I’m guessing all of the different elements lead us to this situation.
From a whisky point of view this mixes well with soda water and has simple, easy to drink, light flavours. I’m not that type of whisky drinker. I don’t think most nerds will be. But at least it’s priced correctly (not part of my score) and it knows what it’s meant for, so grab your best hipster pop and try some.
Bourbon review #285, California review #8, Whiskey Network review #2246