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Review: St. George Single Malt Whiskey 30th Anniversary Edition

St. George Spirits has been making Single Malt Whiskey consistently longer than any distillery in 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 gives a bit more background on the distillery and their whiskey program.

What’s really unique about St. George’s single malt is their aging process. Specifically, they use a variety of barrels and ages to create a whiskey that retains the distillery’s DNA of complex fruit and roasted/toasted malt, but also has slight variances from release to release.

A mere 715 bottles make up the distillery’s 30th anniversary single malt release. The whiskey is comprised of some of the oldest whiskey stocks finished in a barrel that previously held pear brandy. St. George began making eau de vie, particularly pear, when the distillery opened in 1982. The flagship spirit was actually a pear brandy, so this release is a bit of a nod to the distilleries early days.

It’s worth noting that in October of 2011 I was at the distillery and had the opportunity to try a 14 year old single malt that was barrel proof, deep chocolate in color, and had the viscosity of berry syrup. It was one of the best sips of whiskey I had all year. In short, I can absolutely attest to the depth, complexity, and greatness of some of St. George’s stocks. Let’s take a look a closer look at this limited release whiskey.

St. George Single Malt Whiskey 30th Anniversary Edition, Bottle 689/715, 47.3% alcohol (94.6 proof), $400
Nose: Redolent with bright, fresh fruit aromas – honeydew, lush pear, and lemon-lime enriched with nutty toffee, vanilla cream, roasted nuts, and cocoa.
Palate: Ripe orchard fruits (Pear), lemon drops, candied ginger, and almond toffee.
Finish: The finish is full of roasted malt and nuts – long and lingering to balance out the sweetness on the nose and palate.
Overall To describe this whiskey as easy drinking is an understatement. I’ve burned through this bottle like Sherman through Atlanta. Don’t add a drop of anything to this – just pour and enjoy. The price is WAY up there considering I rated the Lot 10 Single Malt a 9.2. It is a limited release of 715 bottles for the lucky few that are able to score one. My advice – grab a bottle of the Lot 12 that was released earlier in the year. Perhaps not quite as honed and elegant as the 30th anniversary, but at $60-65, your wallet will thank you.
Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 9.6 (Epic)

11 Comments

  1. Sal says:

    So jealous, I’ve never even seen this brand on the shelves in Atlanta (thanks for the Sherman shout-out, BTW. Too soon?). Where do they put it? With the bourbon, or with the scotch?

  2. Steve says:

    Hi Sal,

    You can find the Single Malt Lot 12 at:
    Greens Discount Beverage
    Mac’s Midtown Liquor
    Tower Liquor – Piedmont
    Total Wine & More – Alpharetta
    Ansley Wine Merchants
    Bev Maxx – Marietta
    The Single Malt 30 won’t be in market until the end of December.

    Cheers!

  3. Florin says:

    Jason, since you seem to be good friends with St George – do you know if/when will they put out a barrel strength bottling? K&L Wines had an exclusive bottling 3 years ago, and it was so good, I’m still crying after it!

  4. DBMaster says:

    Uh… Too expensive for this middle class American with a kid in college to purchase.

  5. Florin says:

    One more question: you recommend Lot 12, I haven’t tried it. How does it compare with Lot 10? Thanks!

  6. sku says:

    I haven’t had a St. George in years, but recall it as being almost indistinguishable from pear brandy in the early days, so now I know why.

    Is there an age statement on this?

  7. No age statement on this one Sku.

  8. Florin – favorably with lot 10. 11 was a touch flatter than 10 for my tastes.

  9. DBMaster – I certainly understand. For me as well.

  10. Mike S. says:

    Hi, Jason, do you have any info or thoughts about some of the older releases of St. George Single Malt? I have a couple of older releases in my collection, Lots 6 and 7 I believe, but don’t really know much about them. Thanks!

  11. Mike S. – when I was out there last October they lined up every release. All of them very good. Their whiskeys, at their core, have lush ripe orchard fruit, sweet and rich malt notes, and a nuttiness to them. But each year has a different fingerprint. I’m sure you’ve got some great stuff in your collection there with those 2 lots.