Don’t Fear the…


After months of negotiation with the TTB, St. George finally has the approval to sell its “Brandy with Herbs.”

The original label involved a skull with crossed bones. Apparently, not funny.

Another label, involving a monkey beating two bones on a skull. Also, not funny.

Finally, a monkey beating a cowbell with a bone. TTB approved.

I guess Blue Oyster Cult (or maybe Mountain) has an audience at the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau.

I will spare you further BOC puns and just tell you that St. George has done us proud. The first Absinthe legally manufactured and sold in the US since the ban went into effect in 1912 is well distilled and well flavored. There, I said it. This is an Absinthe.

The first batch is pretty slim, and from what I can tell most retailers have sold out their allocations in pre-sale. They do have a bunch at the St. George/Hangar One distillery in Alameda, but I wouldn’t really expect that to last much past the holiday season, given the current interest in Absinthe and the quality of the product.

They are expecting another batch available February-ish for those of you not in the vicinity. Get on the list at your local liquor emporium now!

4 thoughts on “Don’t Fear the…

  1. I don’t know… I kinda like it but… I hope the next batch has MORE COWBELL…

    Got me a bottle and I’ll be visiting asap to offer my hearty congratulations to Mr. Winters!

  2. In the Bay Area the St. George is selling for about $10 bucks more than the Lucid and, to quote myself from one of the message boards, has the following points in its favor:

    Lucid/Viridian and Kübler purchase Industrially produced grain or beet neutral spirits. Think giant factory size continuous stills producing huge amounts of ethanol an hour. Lucid/Viridian and Kübler then flavor and re-distill these relatively low cost ethanols and bottle them.

    St. George buys wine, distills the wine into brandy, (probably at least partially in a pot still as they are also working on a brandy,) then flavors that brandy and re-distills. They are also sourcing some of their botanicals from local sustainable and organic farms. Aside from the grape growing, herb farming, and wine production, it is all done at their Alameda distillery. None of this is cheap.

    Hangar One’s very well regarded flavored vodkas retail for around $35 for 750ml. Their well regarded Zinfandel Grappa costs $35 for 375ml. Their basil Eau de Vie, which I suppose could almost be considered a practice run for their Absinthe, is $50 for 375ml.

    Short answer is, craft distilling isn’t cheap, no matter where you do it, and the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most expensive places to run a business in the whole of the US.

Comments are closed.