CALI Sipping Whiskey Review

CALI is a unique California twist on a classic sipping whiskey. We are shooting for a spirit smoother than a frontier rye, but more complex and flavorful than a traditional Kentucky bourbon.

CALI Sipping Whiskey Header


  • DISTILLER: CALI Distillery created the mash bill, chose the botanicals, and controls the aging and other processes but contracts with another small distillery for the distillate.
  • MASH BILL: “…a bit more than 20% rye, and under 80% corn.”
  • AGE: Under 2 years old – distiller doesn’t really consider this an aged whiskey at this point
  • YEAR: 2016
  • PROOF: 85 (42.5% ABV)
  • MSRP: $32 to $36
  • BUY ONLINE: Del Mesa Liquor


NOSE: Nutmeg  |  Sweet Apple  |  Pumpkin

TASTE: Vanilla  |  Cloves  |  Molasses

FINISH: Long with building cinnamon. It doesn’t so much burn as warm the throat.

SHARE WITH: When you call something “California sipping whiskey,” I imagine coastal sunsets, but when I taste this I think of skiing with a flask. So share with someone on the ski lift. (Please ski responsibly.)

WORTH THE PRICE: The price is about average for a product from a newer distillery, though I’d be more likely to buy it if it was $5 cheaper.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: If a sweet, spiced whiskey appeals to you, then I’d say get a bottle.

OVERALL: It’s not straight whiskey and how you feel about that will likely determine whether this product is for you. This is a casual sipper, not something you’re bringing to your local bourbon society meeting. And that’s fine. I think for what it is, CALI California Sipping Whiskey is very tasty.

Disclaimer: CALI Distillery provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.