A Winemaking Giant Masters the Art of Distillation

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  • By Jeremy Dugan
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A Winemaking Giant Masters the Art of Distillation

Winemaking superstar Dave Phinney, the creator of The Prisoner and Orin Swift, is making artisan whiskey, and as he always does, the results are impressive. Meet Savage & Cooke.

The work of Dave Phinney should be familiar to our domestic wine customers.  His brand Orin Swift (also the original creator of wine phenomenon The Prisoner) has been a favorite in our store for years.  Dave also produces a line a French wines, and he contracts around the world to help him with his Location Series of wines.  

But it is his newest project that has our interest at The Wine Country, a line of whiskies under the name Savage & Cooke.  Located on Mare Island in Northern California, the Savage & Cooke Distillery has been built where once stood a Naval Shipyard.  At this island distillery there are three whiskies made:  Burning Chair Bourbon, Second Glance American Whiskey and Lip Service Rye. Each whiskey is finished off in wine barrels, giving the spirits depth and complexity found in many of Dave Phinney’s wines.  

 

The Savage & Cooke line is a great treat for whiskey and wine fans alike; the unique profiles of each spirit will intrigue any fan of whiskey and could entice any fan of Dave Phinney’s wines to see what the blending genius can do in a totally different realm.

 

Savage & Cooke Burning Chair Bourbon Whiskey

Vallejo, California

Made with a mash bill of 75% Corn, 21% Rye and 4% Malted Barley, this 4 year Bourbon is finished in Napa Valley Cabernet barrels. The result is a rich, full Bourbon with bold flavors of dark chocolate, charred oak and dark fruit, similar to figs. The higher Rye percentage dries out the finish allowing those deep woodsy characteristics from the oak to linger. This is a true Bourbon drinkers Bourbon.

$54.99 per bottle

 

Savage & Cooke Second Glance American Whiskey

Vallejo, California

One would expect a much calmer Whiskey when comparing the Second Glance to the Burning Chair by just looking at the Mash Bill: 95% Corn, 4% Rye and 1% Malted Barley. And then you add the fact that this Whiskey is aged in ex-Bourbon barrels and for at least 1 more year than the Burning Chair, there is no surprise of the coating richness this spirit has. Along with the welcoming coating sensation flavors of toffee and dark cherries pop on the palate. The use of ex-Bourbon barrels gives the Whiskey great spice that balances out the richness of the toffee and dark cherries to balance out the libation wonderfully. This is the kind of Whiskey you can give to a beginner or a connoisseur and both would be happy with the offering.

$39.99 per bottle

 

Savage & Cooke Lip Service Rye Whiskey

Vallejo, California

Just hitting the mark to be called a Rye, the Lip Service is 51% Rye, 45% Corn and 4% Malted Barley, it is aged for a minimum of 3 years in new American oak and is finished in Grenache barrels from Dave Phinney French projects. The result is a Rye that can be enjoyed by those who are fans of Rye Whiskies or someone trying to figure out if they like Rye or not. Notes of orange and clove brighten up your tastebuds while fruity characteristics of pluot give it some sweetness to balance the spice. The way the spice and sweetness blend together, neither is over taken by the other, but both are allowed to shine at different times.

$32.99 per bottle

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