About four weeks ago, the G-LO Clan attended a college graduation party for the daughter of our good friend Rob. About ten minutes after our arrival, Rob says to me, “Let’s take a walk. I have some whiskey that I’d like you to try.” I of course obliged Rob’s request, so through the bilco doors, down the steps, through the storage room, and into his temperature controlled wine room we went.
The two whiskeys that he wanted me to try were made by an itty bitty distillery called Seven Stills of San Francisco. Based upon what I read on the “About Us” section of the Seven Stills website, it sounds like the founders of Seven Stills (Tim Obert and Clint Potter) took the phrase “Whisky is what beer wants to be when it grows up” to heart. What I mean is that instead of making a “distiller’s beer“, they decided to take their home brewing experiments and turn them into whiskey. After a year of experimentation, they decided to go pro and founded Seven Stills in 2013. They currently make three whiskeys (Whipnose, Fluxuate, and Chocasmoke) and plan to introduce many more once they get their new distillery up and running at the end of this year.
Now that you know a bit about Seven Stills and how we got our hands on this whisky, let’s get down to business…
What they say…
Whipnose is the first whiskey in our Collaboration Series, with Pacific Brewing Laboratory. This whiskey is made from Pac Brew Lab’s double IPA and opens with huge whips of west coast hops: Simcoe, Cascade and Centennial. The whiskey drinks like a concentrated IPA, without any of the hop bitterness, and finishes with sweet maple sugar.
What we say…
- Appearance: Golden color with a light brown hue.
- Limpd:Mostly rye notes. Also getting some herbal and floral (jasmine?) notes.
- G-LO: Floral and sweet at the same time. Also a touch spicy with a hint of citrus hops. For some reason, I’m thinking about Root Beer or Coca Cola. Also getting some caramel, toffee, vanilla, and rye spice.
- Limpd: Velvety mouthfeel with quite a bit of alcohol upfront. The taste was a little hoppy and a little buttery too. Also getting some menthol and cinnamon burn.
- G-LO: Slightly oily mouthfeel. A touch of hoppy bitterness at the onset. The sweetness comes through in the middle with some caramel and brown sugar. Gets spicy at the end with those rye notes and some root beer herbalness in the finish.
- Limpd: Whipnose was an interesting premise that fell a little short. I probably would have enjoyed it more if there was more maple sugar sweetness and less rye spice.
- G-LO: Fascinating stuff! While I like the taste, it’s the nose that makes this super fun to sip and savor. Love all the funky aromas! Me likey!
What they say…
Fluxuate is the second whiskey in the SF Hills Series. This whiskey is distilled from a coffee porter with Flux Cold Brewed Coffee. The whiskey opens up with huge aromas of coffee and vanilla. The palate is medium full to thick and has a slick mouthfeel. Since this whiskey is brewed with coffee and uses a high proportion of roasted malts Fluxuate both opens and finishes with dark, rich roasted flavors.
What we say…
- Appearance: Burnished copper color.
- Limpd: Coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, a little menthol, and a little bit of smoke.
- G-LO: Definitely getting those coffee notes! Smells like chocolate covered coffee beans. After that, some baking spice comes through, i.e. clove, allspice, and vanilla.
- Limpd: On the thin side with a taste that’s altogether different from the aroma. Mildly spicy with some sugar and vanilla notes with a slightly acrid, but long and warming finish.
- G-LO: A touch on the thin side. Starts off slow with some brown sugar sweetness. Gets a bit spicy in the middle with some cinnamon heat. At the finish, the cocoa and coffee notes come through with a lingering espresso note in the aftertaste.
- Limpd: I thought this was a very respectable and enjoyable whiskey. My only complaint is that I found there to be a bit of a bait and switch going on with the aroma and taste.
- G-LO: This was also fun to drink! This time around, the nose and taste are equally satisfying. Would love to try this with a Coffee Porter chaser. Definitely worth seeking out!