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Bay Area whiskey wins Esquire Spirit’s Awards for 2021


Esquire’s 2021 Spirit Awards named a Bay Area company one of the best this year.

Guido Von Oepen / EyeEm / Getty Images / EyeEm

Bay Area Whiskey Company Recognized as One of the Best Esquire’s Spirit Awards for 2021.

The list, which included whiskeys, tequilas, gin and other spirits, included Grizzly Beast Pure Bourbon Whiskey by Whiskey Empire Redwood which owns a distillery in Graton, Calif., an unincorporated town in Sonoma County.

“I love it when a whiskey exceeds my expectations,” Esquire wrote. “It’s a lovely new sipping bourbon.”

Esquire added that Redwood Empire distills their whiskey in a single distillation season and that their Grizzly Beast pure bourbon whiskey ages for about four years before bottling. Bourbon whiskey is described as having tasting notes of orange peel, salted caramel and buttermilk with a spicy aroma.

Redwood Empire Whiskey named its Grizzly Beast bourbon whiskey after two trees found in two state national parks, according to its business website. “Grizzly” is a nod to the giant grizzly redwood tree of Yosemite National Park, while the word “beast” comes from the mattole beast tree located in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.


The award comes just weeks after Esquire named five Bay Area businesses to its list of America’s Best New Restaurants. The list included Oakland businesses, Horn Barbecue and Shawarmaji, as well as Berkeley’s Fish & Bird Sousaku Izakaya and San Francisco restaurants Anchovy Bar and Abaća.




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