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Ventura County Distillery Wins Award for Best Pot Still Bourbon in America

·2 min read

Warbringer Mesquite Smoked Bourbon, made by Sespe Creek Distillery in Oxnard, California, took the country's top award at this year's World Whiskies Awards competition.

OXNARD, Calif., July 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Close your ears, Kentucky, a California distillery just won the award for Best Pot Still Bourbon in America.  Called Warbringer, the winning whiskey is one of the small but increasing number of pot distilled whiskeys in the country.  While column distillation offers significant efficiency advantages over pot distillation and is the dominant form of whiskey making in the United States, a growing trend of producers are opting to use the older, pot distilled method, which can result in a fuller, more nuanced spirit.

Warbringer Mesquite Smoked Bourbon
Warbringer Mesquite Smoked Bourbon

Using a recipe created by PhD biochemist David Brandt, Warbringer features a mash bill of 75% hand roasted & mesquite smoked corn and 25% malted rye.  The flaking grits corn is smoked for 2-days with natural mesquite firewood from Texas.

"Mesquite is a magical wood," says Sespe Creek owner, Alfred English.  "It has an unmistakable flavor that immediately calls to mind great BBQ, like fall-off-the-bone ribs and roadside burgers.  When you pair mesquite smoke with an especially robust and rich pot distilled bourbon, it creates a massive, complex dram that just tastes great and transports you somewhere else."

Whiskey review site, Distiller.com, describes Warbringer in a 2019 review:

"There's no mistaking what this whiskey is made with as this bourbon greets the nose with a blast of mesquite smoke. The smoke leads on the palate as well, with notes of barbecue, wood char, vanilla, and a glimpse of licorice. It delivers what it promises, and whether one likes it will probably depend on how one feels about mesquite, because there is plenty of it."

Warbringer, which bills itself as "The Big Beast of Bourbon," is made in Oxnard, California by Sespe Creek Distillery.  The distillery is named after a nearby stream in the Los Padres National Forest.  The Warbringer brand also includes a cask strength, single barrel release called Warmaster Edition, which is made in partnership with former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Josh "Warmaster" Barnett.   Barnett's barrel pick garnered a Gold Medal at the 2020 San Francisco Spirits Competition in the "Single Barrel - Up To 10 Years" category.

Run by the team at Whisky Magazine as part of the World Drinks Awards competitions, the World Whiskies Awards was launched in 2007, and is one of the industry's most highly anticipated international events.  Warbringer's top award was earned in the "No Age Statement" category, a class of whiskies made from blends of various ages.

Warbringer campfire cookout
Warbringer campfire cookout

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SOURCE Sespe Creek Distillery