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St. George Baller Whiskey Finished In Ex-Plum Liqueur Barrels

Whiskey distillers, particularly from the world of craft spirits, can often have some pretty, umm, unique ideas on what they throw into a bottle for you to later part with your hard earned cash for. St. George Spirits, one of the pioneers in the younger distillery movement in recent years, is typically not one of those doing whiskey experiments – their yearly single malt whiskey releases do them quite well – but for their new St. George Baller Whiskey they’ve definitely strayed in some rather interesting directions.

St. George Baller Whiskey
St. George Baller Whiskey (image via St. George Spirits)

St. George Baller Whiskey, according to distiller Lance Winters, is “a California take on the Japanese spin on Scotch whisky.” What does this mean exactly? Here’s the description of this bottling in their own words:

We start with 100% American barley (predominately two-row pale malted barley, the remainder is lightly roasted). After distillation in our eau de vie pot stills, the whiskey is aged 3–4 years in used bourbon casks and French oak wine casks, as well as filtered through maple charcoal. We then finish the whiskey in casks that had held house-made umeshu (a Japanese style of plum liqueur we made entirely from California-grown ume fruit).

Of all of this, what strikes me the most is the finishing in ex in-house made umeshu casks. Definitely has my curiosity peaked as to what this expression might taste like. St. George has very limited tasting notes out on this one at this point, only saying that it’s “crisp and dry, with a touch of malt sweetness. The smoky finish lingers and builds with each sip.”

This whiskey, which was created with whiskey highballs in mind, sports on its bottle some rather cool samurai artwork done by an artist and calligrapher duo. It is said to reimagine “the legend of St. George as a samurai.”

Should you want to track down a bottle of St. George Baller Whiskey, Spirits Business reports it will price around $65 when it debuts in California only next month. It is a very limited release, and the distillery has no plans to pour samples of it in their tasting room.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the former founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award-winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y globally. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert, and judge, he has written extensively about the subject, been interviewed in various media outlets, and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions.

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