What We Make

Sgt. Classick Rums

2 Bottles, Sgt Classick Gold Hawaiian Rum & Sgt Classick Silver Hawaiian Rum

The Spirit of Hawai'i™, Sgt. Classick rums use 100% Hawaiian molasses from the island of Kaua'i. It's shipped via tanker to San Francisco directly from Hawai'i and fermented and distilled in Mountain View, CA, using Hetch Hetchy water (renowned for its clarity and flavor) Check out some of the excellent reviews it's received, including but not limited to a prestigious Double Gold medal from the World Spirits Competition in SF. 

We'd like to tell you more, please click below to visit the brand page.

Classick, The ORIGINAL American Bierschnaps

Two bottles, displaying the front and back decoration of Classick, the Original American Bierschnaps

Despite containing the word schnapps, this 80 proof distillate is nothing like the sickly sweet/syrupy liqueurs found on the bottom shelf at liquor stores. To make this European style schnapps, first we brew our own American Pale Ale, aroma hopping only to preserve the essence of the malt. It's then transferred from the fermenter directly to our still, which captures all the subtle nuances of the brews flavor profile, resulting in a soft yet complex distillate, akin to a rock-candy white whiskey.

Classick Grappa di Cabernet

It takes about 12-15 pounds of fresh pommace to produce a single bottle of grappa di cabernet. Essential Spirits is there waiting at the Joseph Phelps winery the day of the press and whisks the fresh pommace directly to the still the same day. The result is a delightfully smooth, unctuous spirit that is redolent of the aroma of the specific grape varietal  used in the wine (currently the Insignia Cabernet). To taste it is to be transported the vineyard in the Las Rocas region of Napa! To find out more about each of the unique grappas offered by Essential Spirits, or about grappa in general, please Click Here.

PurePear pear brandy

hero shot of Essential Spirits purepear brandy bottles and green pear

Only available at the distillery, due to limited release, twelve and a half pounds of 100% Bartlett (Williams) pears go into each 375mL bottle of PurePear (we've done the math), each one originating from the fabled orchards of Lake County in Northern California, the pear capital of the USA.

Brought in just before the season end, five tons at a time is allowed to ripen in house to the peak of perfection before being painstakingly processed by hand.

Every single pear is inspected for ripeness and that each is whole, sound fruit (bruises and spots are cut away) The stems too are removed before crushing to assure not a trace of wood alcohol is allowed to develop in the finished mash.

The resulting distillate envelops the senses with nothing but ripe pear, and imbibers are often found wandering around with empty glasses to their nose, unwilling to part from the lingering last drops of aromatics. 

Tahoe Blue Vodka

Tahoe Blue Vodka Logo

One of our proudest contract distilling projects, this vodka is distilled from three different base ingredients (50% sugar cane, 25% grape, 25% grain). The brand owner exemplifies a true Lake Tahoe native, giving back to the community at every turn with a true Drink Good, Do Good ethos. To learn more, please visit the official brand site.  

Dunkirk Spirit Gin

Dunkirk Spirit Gin Logo

Another contract distilling project, we love introducing people to this gin, especially when they say "Oh I don't like gin"... after one sip..95% of them follow up with "Oh but I could drink this!" Soft and floral, this American style gin (emphasizing the other botanicals and minimizing the juniper influence) has almost a sweet characteristic thanks to its notes of tangerine peel and lavender flower.  Also, now thanks to a major motion picture, the world can truly understand what the Dunkirk Spirit is all about. Please click below to go to the official brand website to find out more.

All About Grappa

What is Grappa?

Grappa (also called “Marc” in France) is a traditional Italian drink, made from the leftover skins and seeds of grapes used for wine. This is called the "Pommacy" or "Pommace". The Pommace is fermented and distilled in its natural state. The result is around 90 proof and clear in color. Grappa is dry and high in alcohol, with the flavors ranging from floral to earthy. It can have highlights of oak or juniper berries as well. Grappa is typically consumed after dinner as a digestif.

Many grappas have the reputation of being hot and harsh in the mouth and very aggressive. Grappa or Marc production is too often treated as a salvage distillation.  Many folks of our acquaintance wince when making reference to their previous grappa experiences. Usually accompanied by some story about how someone held them hostage after a meal and made them drink grappa all night in some out of the way hostelry. Evil dreams often followed!

However Essential Spirits, due to our unique distilling technology, is rapidly changing perceptions of what grappa is and demonstrating what a delightful spirits experience it can be! Our Master Distiller has established liaison with the very best of the Napa Valley wine makers who notify him of the crush schedule each year and the tonnages available. It takes about 12-15 pounds of fresh pommace to produce a single bottle of grappa di cabernet. Essential Spirits is there waiting when the press is finished and whisks the fresh pommace directly to the still the same day. The result is a delightfully smooth, unctuous spirit that is redolent of the aroma of the specific grape used in the wine. To taste it is to be transported to the wine press on the day of the press!  

Below are the different grappas we've made so far... what will be next?

Estate Grappas

Briarstone Vineyards (2000 & 2002)

These cabernet sauvignon grapes come from the Briarstone Vineyards. They have been vinified in the Oakville district by one of Napa Valley’s premium wineries, providing the incredible depth and velvety texture that typify wines this from this prestigious area.  The particular wine produced from these grapes represents the archetypal California cabernet Big – Bold - almost over the top in terms of body and mouth feel. Produced from pommace that is absolutely fresh from the wine press, only hours old when the distillation commences. 

The pommace itself is truly remarkable – with an appearance like shiny rubies or dried cranberries. Upon tasting the front of the palette is a bit of the vine, the mid-palette is graced by toasted grape nuts, followed by an intense fresh grape flavor that lingers on the back palette for up to 3 minutes. A unique opportunity to experience a vertical tasting of the same grape and winemakers skills from the years 2000 and 2002.