It’s hard to believe that it has been 40 years since St George Spirits revolutionized craft spirits. In celebration, the California-based spirits makers have unveiled a highly limited, special edition whiskey, the St George 40th Anniversary Edition Single Malt Whiskey.
“Our 40th Anniversary Edition Single Malt Whiskey represents the cumulative experience of 40 years of boundary-pushing distillation, as well as our decades-long love affair with making single malt,” says master distiller Lance Winters. “It’s the pure essence of passionate self-expression—and it’s also delicious.”
The St George Spirits 40th Anniversary Edition Single Malt Whiskey celebrates the distillers’ passion for capturing the intangible: sense of place, the emotion of a moment, and the thrill of pursuing something never done before. It comes as an addition to the distillery’s portfolio of American Single Malts: Baller Single Malt Whiskey and the Lot Series, a yearly release which the distillery began making in 1996 and first released in 2000.
In preparation for its release, Winters and head distiller and blender Dave Smith sampled more than 600 casks over a period of several months, ultimately selecting only 14 to draw from for the 40th Anniversary Edition. Sourced from barrels that range from four years old to one of the earliest casks the distillery ever laid down, the rigorous selection process speaks to the distillery’s approach of melding precision with imagination. Each individual barrel offers a range of unique characteristics that complete the whiskey’s flavor profile. For example, a California Sauternes-style cask imparts notes of stone fruit and rose geranium. Some barrels are nods to important pieces of St. George’s heritage, like the umeshu casks that serve as a tribute to Baller Single Malt Whiskey.
“Special releases are about sharing our heritage and making a statement about where we are today, as well as where we are going,” says Smith. “We were inspired to finish a portion of our anniversary single malt in umeshu cask as we discovered that our Lot Series mash bill married perfectly with the stone fruit tones of umeshu and brought balance to the rich weight of Lance’s house-made tawny port casks.”
St George 40th Anniversary Edition Single Malt Whiskey opens with a complex nose of vibrant cola, dark chocolate, and lager; with creamy notes of brown butter, salted caramel, sandalwood, and sweet coconut emerging with time exposed to air. The palate reveals bold notes of dark chocolate, walnut fudge, latte, and Amber malt mingled with buttered waffle; joined by secondary notes of coconut, spice, cinnamon, clove, candied ginger, stone fruit, and soft smoke.
To further honor 40 years of craft distilling, St. George Spirits will be donating $40,000 to the STEPUP Foundation, an organization that aims to provide underserved individuals with opportunities, training, and mentorship to enter the spirits industry.
Bottled at 48% ABV, St. George Spirits 40th Anniversary Edition Single Malt Whiskey is priced at $500 and is expected to start reaching fine spirits retailers in early November, although rollout timing will vary from market to market. It can also be purchased in-person at the distillery during a special release event November 12. Only 1,982 bottles were produced.
For additional information, head over to the brand’s official website.
Earlier this month, we caught up with St George Head Distiller Dave Smith to talk about their Lot 21 Single Malt.