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Micro Monday: St. George Single Malt Whiskey

St. George Spirits has been making single malt whiskey for over a decade, well before most distilleries in the United States took on a category of whiskey long dominated by our friends across the pond. During this period of time, St. George has amassed a reserve of older barrels, giving the distillery a great deal of versatility to blend some pretty phenomenal single malt whiskey.

One of the unique aspects of the distillery’s single malt is the use of a distillers beer crafted from varied types of malted barley. The barley has been smoked or roasted to different levels, which comes across cleanly in the finished whiskey. The result is a whiskey with base notes of roasted malt and cocoa. The product I reviewed is a sample of St. George‚Äôs Lot 10 release, their tenth bottling of the single malt whiskey. Lot 10 also consists of a batching of 18 barrels ranging from four years of age on up to 13 years, with most of the barrels between eight and nine years old. Something tells me the distillers at St. George like variety. They even uses different types of oak barrels (refill bourbon, sherry, port, and French Oak) to add depth and dimension to the whiskey.

I’d be lying if I said the craft or micro whiskey movement has yielded many exceptional products. Frankly most of what I’ve tasted is palatable at best. For those that share this concern, St. George Spirits gives us a taste of what’s possible when it’s done right.

Soon, I believe the distillery’s Lot 11 will release. For now, let’s enjoy what we have, which is superb.

St. George Single Malt Whiskey, Lot 10, 43% alcohol (86 proof), $50
Review: St. George Single Malt Whiskey is defined by a complex blend of malt and fruit. The nose is exceptional, opening up with lush aromas of melon, banana, pear, lemon-lime soda, and ginger ale. The fruitiness eventually gives way to smoky malt. On the palate the flavors are layered and evolving with ripe orchard fruit, spiced honey, nutty almond toffee, and cocoa. The finish is stamped with chocolate malt and the lingering flavors of the beer used to craft this excellent whiskey. Superb stuff!
Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 9.2 (Superb/Outstanding)

12 Comments

  1. Greg G. says:

    Jason,
    I can not agree with you more. I was able to taste their product again just this past Wednesday at K & L and was blown away by the cocoa finish. I tasted the prior rendition and did not enjoy it but this batch is fantastic. We were introduced to the new labeling formate that you can see on the K & L Spirit Journal web site but uable to taste. Looking foreward to taseting this one as well.

  2. lance winters says:

    Jason,
    On behalf of all of us here at St. George Spirits, thanks so much for your open-minded approach to our whiskey. As you say, we’ve been at this for over a decade (fourteen years), and choosing to make a whiskey that’s neither a Scotch nor a Bourbon has made it an uphill fourteen. Between sticking to our guns stylistically, and the hours of painstaking barrel selection put in by our own Dave Smith, we’ve started to develop a loyal following. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

  3. Lance, thanks for the comment. I’m all about what’s in the glass first and foremost regardless of the type/category. If it’s good it’s good. One of the most interesting things I learned about your whiskey is the various types of barrels used. As my write-up/review may have leaned – I assumed this to be a purposeful approach from you guys. Would you mind sharing with us St. George’s or Dave Smith’s approach to barrels and how you feel that impacts the finished product? I have not had earlier versions of St. George – I just can’t get is easily here and TN (where I live) has some pretty wretched laws in terms of shipping whiskey in. How have the later releases, where you’ve had more barrels to pull from, differed from some of the earlier releases?

    Thanks again for checking in Lance. Keep making a great product – that’s what it’s all about.

    Greg, it’s quite good indeed. Glad you enjoyed it as well. The boys from K&L do a good job of getting the good stuff for their customers.

  4. Shell says:

    What is the mashbill of the St. George Single Malt? Is it 100% barley?

  5. Greg says:

    Jason – Thanks for reviewing this product. I’m a fan of micro distilleries because of the potential they bring to the market. I agree that many products are average at best and typically overpriced. My hope is as time goes by and the micro’s begin to have more mature stock we’ll see the quality and diversity increase. At least, this is my hope. I’m going to have to hunt this one down and give it a whirl.

  6. Shell, thanks for comment. Yes it is 100% barley that’s roasted to different levels. It’s different types of malt as well.

    Greg, hope you are well man. I think you’d enjoy this one. An elegant whiskey, but with enough character and body to keep it interesting. If you guys can get things shipped in, check out K&L wines. Those guys are out in CA and do a lot of business with St. George. Cheers!

  7. marty mcquarrie says:

    Is there a way to visit your operation? I would love to see your still. I am also looking for a malted barley source that is somewhat local to help defray the freight costs. Can you help? Thank you for your time.

  8. Marty I don’t actually have a whiskey making operation. Would be happy to help if I can. Where are you located?

  9. Brian says:

    Jason – I went off in search of this one since reading your posts. I contacted the folks at St George to see where I might find it since Its not available in PA. The Lot 10 wasnt available, but I just tried some of the Lot 11 last night – and wow. I realize that your palate is definitely more sophisticated than mine, but it reminded me of a Scottish Highland whisky – with a citrus note. I only had a wee dram, but as I drink my way through the bottle, errrr….I mean “learn to appreciate” this one…. I look forward to tasting all the flavors that it contains. Thanks for your informative insights!

  10. Brian, enjoy man – let me know how it treats you as you continue to sip it. Cheers!

  11. Shane Harden says:

    I just came across a 1/2 bottle of this whiskey tonight and bought it. It is Lot 6.

    This is very interesting? I am not sure if I love it or hate it? It is so different than anything I have tasted. It nearly tastes of a Sauterne wine to me. I am so intrigued by this.

  12. Shane – I’ve found some of my favorite whiskeys were ones that required a little break in. I know what you mean though – it’s so different that it’s captivating. Focus on the finish – you will taste the beer influence, but I think you are DEAD ON with the Sauterne reference. There is a fruitiness here that is unmistakable. Great palate!

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  1. [...] the United States. For those new to perhaps the country’s best craft distillery, check out my previous postings and an article I wrote for Dominic Roskrow’s World Whiskey Review. Each of these articles [...]

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