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Oceanside's Pacific Coast Spirits Makes Prestigious List of Top U.S. Whiskeys

An Oceanside distillery continues to rack up honors, securing two slots on a professional taster’s list of the top 100 whisky's in the U.S.

Pacific Coast Spirits, a handmade small batch craft distillery, recently won gold medals at two international spirits competitions. Pacific Coast now finds one of its products ranked as the 11th best whisky in the country for 2022.

Their American Single Malt placed just outside of the top 10, while their California Blue Corn Whisky was rated 80th on author Fred Minnick’s annual list. Minnick said he assessed more than 800 whisky's before narrowing the field.

To make the list, thousands of whiskeys are sampled during the year across numeroustastings. The top whiskeys are then sampled during a blind tasting and must meetstrict criteria, including standards of aroma, taste and finish.

“We are humbled and honored to make Fred Minnick’s Top 100 American Whiskey list,” said founder and head distiller Nicholas Hammond. “He is a legend and it absolutely made our year.”

Pacific Coast Spirits American Single Malt Barrel Strength, with a mash bill of 100% maltedbarley, uses a variety of toasted and roasted malts and is double pot distilled and aged six years in New American Oak Char #3 barrels.

“Utilizing these grains allows us to build greater complexity and depth of flavor into the base of the spirit,” Hammond said.

Pacific Coast Spirits’ product is the only American Single Malt in the top 25 and one of just three single-malt whiskeys on the list.

The distillery’s Blue Corn Whiskey, the only corn whiskey to make the list, is made from100% California Blue Corn varieties, double pot distilled and aged for more than four years in New American Oak Char #3 barrels.

“Blue Corn has a beautiful dough-like aroma during the fermentation process and the color is so vibrant. It’s one of my favorite whiskeys to make,” Hammond said. William LaRue Weller, a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky, topped the list.

Pacific Coast has won 33 awards in the past two years, including a double Gold Medal and Best of Category at the American Distilling International Spirits Competition and a double Gold and three Gold Medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Blue Corn Whiskey can be found at Pacific Coast Spirits, 404 S. Coast Highway or online. The American Single Malt has sold out, but a new batch will be released in the new year.


Our Flagship Whiskey is the American Single Malt. We release our Flagship in small batches twice a year. Each batch is different and we embrace this fact. We strive for our Single Malt to be distinctively different. The uniqueness, not being the same every time, is what makes it craft. We explore the nuances of flavor and the creativity with our recipe of ingredients because it is in our blood. We don’t try to make what has been made before.

We don’t chill filter our whiskey ever! All this does is remove the goodness from the bottle. We don’t extend our heads and tails cuts to allow for greater production volume, we only give you the hearts of hearts and explore the boundary of tails as there are good flavors and congeners that must not be left behind.

To learn more about the bottle you purchased, please revisit our website, look up your bottle batch number and read about the beautiful composition that makes up that batch.


Our California Bourbon is 100% California grown. California is know for some of the sweetest, most delicious corn in America. What better than to make that corn become bourbon. Our bourbon is 75% Non-GMO California Sweet Corn, 10% percent California 2-Row Barley and we rotate the remaining 15%, with a specialty grain to create unique flavor profiles. Again, no batch is the same, because no barrel is the same, we craft with adventure.

We are working with a few California Farmers in growing Organic Heirloom Corns which we will be eventually rotating in and releasing in very small batches.


New Make is the original product straight from the still, also know as White Dog. Our New Make is the hearts of hearts cut of our Single Malt spirit before it would be transferred to barrel. From conception we weren’t thinking of releasing an unaged whiskey, but our spirit taste so good coming of the still we felt we had to share. A great aged whiskey is not made by taking less than average New Make and barreling it, we believe the New Make should be the very best spirit possible before entering a barrel to truly create a quality aged spirit.

Our New Make is a great as a replacement for vodka, tequila or rum in cocktails. Try it in a Bloody Mary, Margarita or in a Whiskey & Coke

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