Calistoga, California-based Boisset Collection announces the debut of its spirits portfolio inspired by the Calistoga Depot Distillery. Located in the heart of the historic town of Calistoga in California’s Napa Valley region, the distillery is made to honor the 19th century entrepreneur Samuel Brannan, Calistoga’s rich history, and the city’s ties to some of the finest spirits and wines.
The ultra-premium, barrel-aged and wine-cask finished spirits portfolio has already garnered 34 awards including a Double Gold and Gold from The Fifty Best and the Master Medal, reserved for truly outstanding spirits, from The Spirits Business’ American Whiskey Masters. The launch begins with a limited series of masterclass tasting events taking place at the distillery, including Oct. 26, Nov. 16, and Dec. 7. The local events will be followed by a national launch, beginning in California and Texas, and nationwide in 2024.
Renowned vintner Jean-Charles Boisset, proprietor of the Boisset Collection, purchased the historic landmark and began the restoration process in 2021. Boisset’s lifelong dedication to fine wines has allowed him to carry forward the family tradition of terroir mastery and innovate within the industry. This passion for historically rich winemaking equally fuels his goal of creating a hub for fine spirits in the heart of Napa Valley’s wine country.
“The debut of the Calistoga Depot Distillery spirits portfolio is a culmination of the years of work that it took to develop a collection that portrays the best in artisan distilling in Northern California interwoven with our unique savoir-faire,” says Boisset. “This is expressed through our expertise in terroir, the art of refining spirits in our own wine barrels, and a deep passion for the history of distilling in the region. We are stewards of history – both in the spirits we create and in the destination that inspired them.”
Boisset’s vast knowledge of wine and terroir is imbued into each small batch expression through the blending, tasting, and finishing processes, with the help of renowned distillers including Ashby and Timo Marshall, Crispin Cain and more. Both French and American oak wine-casks that once housed Boisset Collection’s premium Napa Valley and Sonoma County wines are used in the finishing process to infuse the distinctive flavors of wine for a smooth and complex spirit. The product line under the Calistoga Depot Distillery portfolio will be sold across a majority of the US and Washington, DC* in retail locations, bars and restaurants. These include:
The First Millionaire: A line of malted barley whiskys named for the fortune Samuel Brannan came into when he heralded the first call for the Gold Rush in 1848. Instead of mining for gold, he built a profitable business by selling mining equipment to miners in the area, making him the first millionaire in San Francisco (SRPs $75-$125).
Fame & Misfortune: This portfolio of rye-forward whiskeys is named after the bohemian temptress Lola Montez who was a force to be reckoned with, known for her fiery temper and irresistible charm (SRPs $150-$200).
Prosperous and Penniless: Brannan’s life was marked with both spectacular prosperity and magnificent failure. He gained much acclaim before he fell victim to financial ruin, and this portfolio of expertly crafted whiskey and a barrel-aged gin made with Master Distiller Crispin Cain pays homage to the entrepreneurial spirit of Branan’s original Calistoga Distillery, founded more than 150 years ago (SRPs $200-$300).
The Calistoga Star: Inspired by The California Star, San Francisco’s first newspaper founded by Samuel Brannan, as well as Brannan’s love for distilling brandy, The Calistoga Star is a line of barrel-aged fine brandies (SRPs $75-$400).
Calistoga Depot Distillery 1868: A line of distillery-exclusive spirits, inclusive of gin, vodka, and rum, that pays tribute to the year 1868, which marks the year that Samuel Brannan built a railroad making it easier for tourists to reach the destination.
Visitors can get a first taste of the various expressions through the distillery’s tasting series starting on October 26th. Engaging programming includes exclusive tastings, cocktail making, history lessons on the liquid itself and more led by spirit connoisseurs and industry leaders. The first in the series, “The Art of Aging with Jean-Charles Boisset,” will discuss the importance of a high quality French oak barrel, how these barrels once housed Boisset’s fine wines, and all those barrels impart on the new spirits housed in them. Calistoga Depot Distillery’s Director of Spirits Anthony Attanasio will then walk attendees through the art of barrel aging cocktails. On November 16th, the second class will highlight the “Birth of American Single Malt” with Distiller Gian Nelson. December 7th will feature a world debut of a new spirits brand to be announced. The series will continue in 2024 with additional featured distillers and collaborations.
Tickets and additional information on the master classes can be found at www.calistogadepot.com/events. Announcements pertaining to the Calistoga Depot Distillery can be found on the website and on Instagram @calistogadepotdistillery.
*Calistoga Depot Distillery cannot currently ship to these select states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.