Sip Award-Winning Pasadena Whiskey

Published : Monday, May 22, 2017 | 4:04 PM

Give Stark Spirits California whiskey a shot. The peated spirit won Double Gold and Best of Category at the American Distilling Institute’s 2017 Craft Spirit competition. Both the peated and unpeated single malt whiskeys won silver at the San Francisco World Spirits Completion. Stark Spirits, a craft distillery in Pasadena, distills and bottles their unique take on whiskey in Pasadena.

Greg Stark and his wife, Karen Robinson-Stark, are the distillers behind this hidden gem. Greg explains that his father-in-law introduced him to fine whiskey. After that introduction to the spirit, he decided what to make as his first whiskey. He was further inspired when he joined the L.A Scotch Club, and participated in their Peatin’ Meetin’ event. He increased his taste and appreciation for smoky whiskey, and decided that his first whiskey would be a peated whiskey.

Stark Spirits Peated and unpeated Single Malt Whiskeys proudly meet the standards set by the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission. Stark makes his Peated whiskey with peated malt from Scotland, along with100% malted barley grains grown in America. It’s complex, smoky spirit double distilled and then aged in American Oak and finished in Bourbon barrels. This smooth whiskey has a well-balanced, peat aroma, leaving you with dry charcoal smoke and bitter almonds taste.

The California Single Malt Whiskey, the unpeated product, is also double-distilled, aged in American Oak and finished in Bourbon barrels. Made from 100% American grain, it has a gentle, light vanilla flavor that is intertwined with sweet coffee cocoa beans and chocolate. This sipping whiskey has a light mouth feel with full-bodied flavor and a touch of heat and a lingering complex finish.

“There is a lot of magic that comes out of the barrel,” said Greg Stark.

“I’m a contemplative drinker,” said Stark. “So it was my goal to create something that can distract you from life’s concerns, that is so enjoyable that you come back again and again.”

“Our goal is to make spirits that you can drink neat,” he said. “It’s a balance of flavor and aroma.”

In addition to their whiskeys, Stark just released their first batch of Skyline Gin, distilled by Karen. The gin name was inspired by the sunset view from Stark Spirits distillery. Skyline is made from traditional ingredients, but it’s distinctly New World in aroma and flavor.

Book a tour of Stark Distillery and look for them in local stores. Stark Spirits is located at 1260 Lincoln Ave. #1100, Pasadena. Call (626)798-1377. Schedule your visit on their website,

For additional information on Stark Spirits, Please see the following links:

Stark Whiskey

Skyline Gin

LA Scotch Club

Peatin Meetin







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