“A California take on the Japanese spin on Scotch whisky.” So says master distiller Lance Winters of this unique and inspired spirit, which was created with Japanese-style whiskey highballs in mind (hence the name Baller).
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 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).
Crisp and dry, with a touch of malt sweetness. The smoky finish lingers and builds with each sip.
In addition to using in Japanese-style whiskey highballs, we also recommend Baller in a Boulevardier, or in place of Scotch whisky in a Bobby Burns or Rob Roy.
ABOUT THE LABEL
Distiller Lance Winters did the art direction for the label, which re-imagines the legend of St. George as a samurai. The original watercolor on the front label was by Oakland artist Sylvia Solochek Walters, done to emulate woodcut. The calligraphy was done by Eri Takase of Takase Studios.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Over-the-top delicious. — Bloomberg
Perhaps America's most unique single malt. Immensely drinkable — PUNCH
This might be the best new spirit of the year, period. — Supercall
Perfect sipped neat or on a rock or two... an intense crispness and ferocious burst of plum on the front, followed by a warm, slate-like dryness and lingering smokiness. — Imbibe
An absolute pleasure… exactly the kind of whisk(e)y that I love and that keeps me in love with whisk(e)y. — The Whiskey Wash
A bold, dry whiskey with subtle plum and smoky notes ideal for Japanese highballs and Scotch-style cocktails. — Liquor.com
A meta whiskey, if there ever was one. While it has more than enough complexity to be sipped, it was made to be mixed in highballs and other cocktails. — The Daily Beast
One of the most visionary whiskeys on the market. — Spirited
A California take on Japanese whisky from one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious craft distillers, with a stunning label to match.— Whisky Advocate
One of the Best New Spirits of 2016. Remarkably complex, starting off dry and a little smoky on the front of the tongue, then blooming into an explosion of fruit. — Playboy