Food & Drink

Whiskey a-go-go

Wayward bourbon whiskey is made at the Venus Distillery in Santa Cruz.
Wayward bourbon whiskey is made at the Venus Distillery in Santa Cruz. apierleoni@sacbee.com

Sean Venus opened Venus Spirits in Santa Cruz in mid-2014, quickly reaping awards for his gins and tequilas and distributing them to about 600 locations across the state. It’s his Wayward Whiskey sub-brand, though, that caught our eye, with its seductive trio of bourbon, rye and scotch.

The newest is the small-batch, double-distilled bourbon whiskey, distilled from “organic corn (70 percent), wheat and malted barley” and aged in new American oak barrels. The 92-proof spirit shows aromas of caramel, with a touch of cherry in the finish.

“Unlike most bourbons distilled in Kentucky, this is pot still whiskey, distilled in a similar fashion as scotch or Irish whisky,” Venus said. “It has a lot more grain character than other bourbons.”

$50 at Mission Liquor & Deli in Sacramento, or at the distillery, 427 Swift St., Santa Cruz, 831-427-9673

– Allen Pierleoni

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