With only three days to go until Christmas Eve, there’s not enough time to order gifts. So, until then, we’re going to suggest some items that we’ve rated highly this year that you can find in your local liquor store (hopefully). For Day 22, we’re focusing on the 20 spirited products that received a GSN Rating of A- (90) during 2017.
There aren’t a whole lot of spiced whiskies out there. So, I was quite intrigued to receive a sample of one by the same couple who head up Sukkah Hill Spirits (see my reviews of their liqueurs here). Here’s what owners Howard and Marni Witkin have to say about their journey towards creating CALI.
“We didn’t realize that we were going into the liquor business. We just thought that we were sharing a delicious home-made drink with friends. Our founder, Taste Mistress, and resident foodie – started making homemade liqueurs in our kitchen. We poured it for dinner guests, and they were hooked. Soon a few bottles grew to dozens of bottles and we had local stores asking to carry our liqueurs.
By the time we caught our breath, we had an operating distilled spirits plant, pallets of liquor, gold medals, industry recognition, and two of the best liqueurs on the market. But our taste mistress is a whiskey girl at heart, and we started dreaming about a whiskey we could call our own. It took us a few years, but the sipping whiskey that emerged is something unique and incredible. A full-bodied whiskey with whispers of wonderful aromatic spices and botanicals. The flavors of CALI arise organically from the interaction of the rich corn mash bourbon, and spicy rye, mellowed by clean oak and then finished with our own signature blends of herbs, spices and botanicals.
We make every bottle by hand, in our little beach town distilled spirits plant from all natural ingredients. Never GMO. Never Industrial. We are truly excited to bring our family of natural hand crafted spirits to your family.”
CALI California Sipping Whiskey (85 proof) Visual: Orange-gold. Nose: Ginger, cinnamon and clove painted against malty whiskey canvas. Taste: Remarkably smooth for a higher-proof whiskey. The initial impression is of warmth and spice cake. This opens up quickly into a broader palate that is predominantly cinnamon. Finish: Long with a lot of the spices lingering and creating a cooling sensation on the tongue. Very much akin to an allspice liqueur. Overall: I wish this was more widely available. It honestly puts many spiced rums to shame. You can even use it in Tiki drinks for extra pop. Try this is a Hot Toddy or neat in a Brandy snifter. It is a great winter warmer. GSN Rating: A-