Though this is a beer blog, when breweries decide to expand into spirits I can’t help but cover their endeavors. Ballast Point recently started spirit tasting but with some restrictions. In order to taste these delicious spirits you must pay for a tour and then go back and taste. Each taster is 1/4 an ounce and served in a glass that makes it possible to get a good idea of each drink from that small amount. For now the spirit tasting is only available at the Old Grove location in Scripps Ranch. You have to stop by on the same day as the tour to sign up and pay for everyone you expect to join you. They charge $10 for the tour and tasting combined.
The tasting lets you experience the vodka, gin, two kinds of rum, moonshine, and bourbon. Ballast Point spirits are different from what you might find in the stores otherwise because the vodka and gin are both distilled and then reduced to the percentage you taste. Most vodkas are not distilled by the companies but made using mass produced ethanol. This gives them a delicious smooth flavor that you don’t usually see with these.
The vodka was not my thing, though it was a bit smoother than others I have had in the past. The gin is infused with their own selection of botanicals and gives it a delicious flavor heavy on the floral side. The clear rum was not really my thing, a bit too mellow for my tastes. It has a sweet flavor that comes from the sugar cane they use as the base. This is used instead of molasses that most rums are made from. The aged rum was a delicious smooth drink aged in American Oak barrels. It has many similar flavor characteristics that you might be familiar with in bourbon and whiskey. The moonshine was a bit on the sweet side and pretty similar to the white rum. We ended with a flavor of the Devil’s Share Bourbon, a rare commodity that you probably won’t be able to buy outside of this tasting tour. Keep an eye on their facebook if you are interested in catching the next release of whiskey. Until then, I would suggest you stick with the aged rum if you are into that style of drink.