San Diego’s craft distilleries come in all shapes and sizes, from the massive 50,000-square-foot domain of Cutwater Spirits to the new and relatively diminutive Seven Caves Spirits, whose 2,000-square-foot grain to glass distillery and tasting room is tucked into a nearby Miramar cul-de-sac.
Seven Caves was established in 2016, but visiting the tasting room has thus far been by-appointment-only; beginning Thanksgiving week, it will be open for regular hours, Thursday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Though its bottles will have limited distribution — the first crop has landed at La Jolla’s Keg N Bottle and Hillcrest restaurant Concept Two Seven Eight — founder/distiller Geoff Longenecker says most of his efforts will be focused on the tasting room, which will feature quarterly releases and a future members club.
Made in “ludicrously small batches” that yield 25 to 30 gallons of finished product, Seven Caves Spirits’ debut is a barrel-aged rum, which won a bronze medal from the American Distilling Institute, that’s rested for six months in new oak barrels; a New Orleans native, Longenecker sources the rum’s base sugar and molasses from Louisiana. Expect to see other single barrel-aged rum varieties, including rums finished in bourbon and rye barrels. Longenecker favors brown spirits — single malt whiskey will be a future release — but he also plans to distill new world-style gins made with seasonal botanicals as well as agave spirits.