California whiskey distillery, Savage & Cooke, was named the 2023 California Bourbon Distillery of the Year at New York International Spirits Competition.
Now in its 14th year, the NYISC reviewed more than 1400 spirits from 39 countries and 34 States in the 2023 competition. The judges of the competition are made up of exclusively of trade professionals. Products are evaluated by blind tastings. The judges noted they were thrilled by the high quality of spirits submitted from so many regions and countries for the 2023 event.
“We are overjoyed with this year’s NYISC results,” said Savage & Cooke’s General Manager Lauren Blanchard.
“Every member of our team works hard to put out the best possible products. Being recognized by such an impressive group of industry professionals totally validates all our efforts.”
The Savage & Cooke distillery, owned by Napa Valley winemaker Dave Phinney, is located on historic Mare Island and opened in 2018. The decision to locate the distillery on Mare Island was due to its fascinating history as a naval shipyard, the plethora of space, stunning brownstone buildings and its proximity to both the Napa Valley and San Francisco.
Savage & Cooke distills, ages, finishes and bottles a range of brown spirits including Bourbon, Whiskey and Rye.
Along with the distillery title, the whiskies of Savage & Cooke also earned high marks with the following products:
- The Burning Chair, Double Gold, 96 points
- The Manhattan Project, Gold, 95 points
- DIGITS, Silver, 93 points
- Second Glance, Silver, 92 points
- Lip Service, Bronze, 91 point
I had the pleasure of tasting three of them:
The Lip Service: Aged for a minimum of 3 years in new charred barrels. Intense and exciting on the nose, with notes of orange peel clove and candied ginger. The taste is Creamy and velvety with white pepper, berry compote and honey. The finish is layered with exotic spice and vanilla.The youngest Rye in the blend is three years old. Tiny lots are procured from Tennessee and each barrel brings personality and intrigue to the final blend. The mature R90 proof with pure, pristine water from Dave’s high elevation property in Alexander Valley in Northern California. The Mash bill includes 51% Rye, 45% Corn, 4% Malted Barley
The Burning Chair: is the first release of Dave Phinney’s highly anticipated four year-old Bourbon. Each barrel is hand-selected for it’s unique attributes by Dave. Tiny lots are procured from Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee. It brings something special to the final blend.Aged in new charred American oak barrels and then uniquely finished in wine barrels from Dave’s Napa Valley Cabernet projects.The mature Bourbon is titrated to 88 proof with pure, pristine water from Dave’s high elevation property in Alexander Valley in Northern California.The Mash Bill includes: 75% Corn, 21% Rye, 4% Malted Barley. Intense and expressive, The Burning Chair has a distinctive aromatic taste of brown sugar, caramel, butterscotch and toasty oak. The palate is smooth and lush with loads of vanilla bean, baking spices, maple and baked apples. The finish is long and exciting, begging for another sip.
The Second Glance: This is the first release of Dave Phinney’s highly anticipated five year-old American Whiskey. Distinctive and pronounced, The youngest Whiskey in the blend is five years old. Tiny lots are procured from Kentucky and each barrel brings a desired characteristic to the final blend. Aged for a minimum of five years in ex-Bourbon barrels and then uniquely finished in wine barrels from Dave’s Napa Valley Cabernet projects.The mature Whiskey is 88 proof with pure, pristine water from Dave’s high elevation property in Alexander Valley in Northern California. The Mash Bill contains 95% Corn, 4% Rye, 1% Malted Barley
The taste is rich and bold with aromas of maple wood, cardamom, buttery toast and black cherries. Impressive intensity on the palate with a plethora of honey, caramel, hazelnut and baked dark fruits. The finish is layered and complex.
At the end of the day a must-try for connoisseurs as well as amateurs.
To learn more about Savage & Cooke Distillery as well as their award-winning products visit https://savageandcooke.com/.