By Lora Chow
Since moving to San Diego County this summer, Tom and I have been pleasantly surprised by the beverage scene. Excellent urban wineries and craft breweries are plentiful. However, we noticed there are very few craft distilleries. During a search for craft spirits, Tom discovered The California Spirits Company in San Marcos, CA. Naturally, we had to go check it out.
As with many San Diego area urban wineries and breweries, California Spirits Company is situated in an industrial business park. Upon entering, there is a display of the spirit being produced: Avalon Silver Rum. Although there is currently only one craft rum available, do not let this prevent you from visiting this gem of a distillery! Take a tour and learn why this offering is special and incredibly tasty.
Proprietor Casey Miles, an Air Force Veteran with a background in IT, decided to make a huge life change when he followed his wife Kelli’s advice to follow his passion. While studying Business at UC Irvine in 2012, Casey began learning about craft distilling, with a focus on his favorite spirit: Rum. After years of saving, The Miles family decided to go all in and start The California Spirits Company in 2013.
The Making of Avalon Silver Rum
Casey embarked on his journey to perfect the manufacturing process by making sure everything was scientific and precise from the beginning. Taking meticulous notes, Casey experimented with different sugars, syrups, and yeasts. Then he altered the ratios of the ingredients. After many different variations were made, Casey narrowed it down to 12 rums. He conducted a taste test of rum and coke to see which of the 12 was preferred. The rum that surpassed all of the others is the one currently being offered: Avalon Silver Rum.
Our Tour Tasting of Avalon Silver Rum
The rum manufacturing area is beautiful and meticulously clean. From listening to Casey talking about the process he went through to find the perfect recipe, we wouldn’t expect anything less than pristine. The kettle used to distill the spirit runs at different temperatures to separate molecules at their specific boiling point. Casey vaporizes the “junk”: butane, methanol, and acetone. All of these have lower boiling points than the “ideal” product: ethanol. Ethanol has a boiling point of 173.1 F. Casey begins collecting the spirit at 175 degrees to ensure a pure product. After our tour, we got a small tasting of the rum. Honestly, it was the cleanest and tastiest rum either of us has had. There is a slight banana and apple scent and flavor to the spirit. Some traces of pepper and star anise also came through. The clean and pure taste really comes through. We can see how it can be both a sipping and mixing rum because it is so smooth.
Casey plans on expanding into different types of rum, using the Avalon Silver Rum as a base. Future plans include manufacturing an aged rum, a spiced rum, and a black rum. To increase the presence of distilleries in San Diego County, Casey is currently working with other craft spirit manufacturers in the area to create a cooperative of distilleries. A great idea that Tom and I hope will help support the growth and success of local craft distillers.
Craft distilleries are slowly emerging onto the lively San Diego County beverage scene. The California Spirits Company’s Avalon Silver Rum exemplifies the high quality and pure taste that customers (like Tom and I) seek. We have tasted many types of rum from various manufacturers around the world and we feel that Avalon Silver Rum is by far our favorite in this category of rum. If you are in the area, we highly recommend a visit to California Spirits Company to try Avalon Silver Rum for yourself!
Other Notable Distilleries in Southern California
- Malahat Spirits Co. known for their Rum, Spiced Rum and Ginger Rum
- Liberty Call Distilling LLC known for their White Rum, Spiced Rum, Gin
- Desert Distilling Tasting Room known for their Vodka, Flavored Vodkas, White Rum and Aged Rum
We love discovering “adult beverages” wherever they may hide. Contact Us if you have questions or want additional information pertaining to possible tours. We can help!