Adam Spiegel was born and raised in San Francisco, and from a young age experienced the bounty that Sonoma County offers through monthly visits to the area with his parents visiting the beaches, attending concerts and tagging along on wine tastings.
It was in 2008 he found a passion for creating spirits while assisting a distiller friend in Santa Rosa make whiskeys. Adam soon realized they were making products which tasted better than what he was buying in the stores. From there, Sonoma County Distilling Company was founded in 2010 as one of the first 200 distilleries in the United States. Now with over 1,300 active distilleries across the nation, Sonoma County Distilling Company is considered one of the “old timers”.
While working with great Master Distillers and Blenders over the years, I’ve honed my stills to continually raise the bar with each new product and batch. There are no “Masters” here per say; we’re just regular people striving every day to better themselves and their craft. I like to say we’re making whiskeys in a small way for a big world. — Adam Spiegel, Sonoma County Distilling Company
Grain to Glass is the focus at Sonoma County Distilling Company. Every level of the production is handled in-house including the milling, mashing and fermentation of grains, direct-fire copper alembic pot distillation, American oak barrel aging, bottling and labeling. Proudly ignoring the industry trends in pursuit of a new legacy, they are steeped in traditional values but fueled by modern taste. Sourcing only the finest non-GMO grains from California and the malted barley is locally smoked in Petaluma with California Cherrywood. Their new, American oak barrels are proudly made in Missouri and Minnesota. Through hard work, traditional time-honored techniques and their ideal location in picturesque Sonoma County, they are California’s premier whiskey distillery.
Adhering to traditional methods, they’ve chosen to use direct fire, copper pot stills for their distillation process. Their labor intensive production requires double-distillation to allow the rudimentary stills to reach a high enough alcohol concentration to go to barrel. In return, they are left with a beautifully viscous and high ester-driven spirit. At Sonoma County Distilling Company, they keep a watchful eye for burns as the direct-fire stills produce a consistent and slight caramelization. It’s through this imperfection that they find distinction. Using a mindful approach, combined with the coastal climate and refined barrel program, they craft a distinctive style; confirming their commitment to producing world-class whiskeys.
Made with a base of rye grain, and complemented by wheat and a hint of California Cherrywood-smoked barley, this inventive spirit is meant for those who seek out the flavors of a classic Manhattan cocktail in a distilled spirit. Aged in new American oak barrels for no less than one year, this is Cherrywood rye whiskey.
Smooth and creamy, with puffs of sweet smoke (think bacon) providing additional kick. Cocoa, shortbread, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice tie it all together with a touch of grassiness.