Exotics - Other

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California Gold Charred Sugarcane Barley Corn Spirit

From: California, United States Liquor Review Category: Other

Bottle/Rating Data

Rating Description

Tier 1
This is a Tier 1 score in the Exotics category. It means the spirit has won the highest recommendation at least once and probably many times.
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San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2013

Beverage Testing Institute

  • This bottle has not been rated by this competition.

Wine Enthusiast

  • This bottle has not been rated by this competition.

Proof66 Notes

California Gold is, without questions, a spirit that defies categorization. It appears to be a base of sugarcane (which would imply a rum taste that supports their marketing claim of "rich Caribbean style"), barley (which would imply a malt whiskey profile), and corn (which brings in some notion of American bourbon), all aged for 5 months in charred 15-gallon (smaller than the typical ~50 gallon barrels to promote greater contact with wood) American oak and bottled at 100 proof. The aging in particular takes away from the world of clear vodka-style spirits and into more oak-driven whiskey or aged-rum profile. The barrels also use French Oak staves to provide slightly different flavors and intensify the aging process. We have, of course, opted to list this spirit as "exotic." The label is owned by LaMont Reed and Jacque Lacey of Reed & Lacey and as of 2013 produced at St George Spirits of California and composed strictly of all-natural ingredients.

They describe the spirit as a "sweet whiskey" that tastes like "liquid cookies." This particular expression is the "charred" version, which is aged in a heavier charred oak barrel. They say this gives the spirit flavors of vanilla and butterscotch with the signature oak caramel. It is bottled at 80 proof (where its cousin the "toasted" spirit is bottled at 100 proof). 

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