The Corbin Cash distillery was started by David Souza, a 4th-generation sweet potato farmer whose distillery is located on his family’s 100+-year-old sweet potato farm in Atwater, in California’s Central Valley. Corbin Cash specializes in spirits made from sweet potato, a seriously unusual ingredient.
At Corbin Cash, everything from the propagation and planting of sweet potato plants to harvesting is all done by hand. Planting is a two-step process starting with growing the plants in a greenhouse, and then transplanting them to the field, where they produce a crop over the next 90 to 120 days. (Sweet potato harvesting can start as early as August and go as late as November.) Although a machine brings up the sweet potatoes from 20 inches below the ground, each individual sweet potato is hand-picked off the vine and placed in large wooden bins. There are approximately 10 people on each of 14 crop harvesters that gather a maximum of 1 acre per day. Additionally, it takes 5 forklift and truck drivers each to move the product from field to storage.
The distillery is completely sustainable. After each year’s sweet potato crop is harvested, and turned into Corbin Cash Barrel-reserve Sweet Potato Liqueur, Souza plants Merced rye in same field. From that rye, he makes a rye whiskey and an American blended whiskey. Spring water used in production is recycled back to the farm for irrigation, and the spent mash is used as fertilizer or cattle feed.
Corbin Cash Sweet Potato Liqueur (70 proof)
Visual: Deep yellow-gold.
Nose: Tons of spice. Cinnamon, clove, vanilla bean, honey butter and pound cake. Dessert in a glass.
Taste: Soft sweet potato flavor with a rush of spice. Almost a liqueur, but not as heavy in mouthfeel.
Finish: Fairly long, with the spice hanging on, but the chewy sweet potato flavor winning out in the end.
Overall: I handed out blind samples to several of the GSN staff and asked them to guess what it was. Without fail they all suggested a spiced rum. And yes, this is the closest in flavor to that spirit. But, the sweet potato flavor adds a new and flavorful dimension that you won’t find in a molasses based rum. I like this a lot and commend Corbin Cash for creating something entirely new in a world that is overly saturated with more of the same old, same old.
GSN Rating: A
For more information go to: Corbin Cash
Filed under: Spirits & Liqueurs