Barber Lee Spirits creates a traditional, one-of-a-kind American Whiskey

ByChris Bollini Localish logo
Thursday, May 25, 2023
This distillery crafts one-of-a-kind American whiskey
The Petaluma Distillery's grain-to-glass spirits have won numerous awards.

PETALUMA, Calif. -- Petaluma's Barber Lee Spirits creates a unique single malt rye with a lot of time, love, and tenderness.

"It's a difficult whiskey to make," owner and distiller Michael Barber shares.

"We are not trying to do things the hard way. We just want to do them the right way, but a lot of the times, it just ends up being the hard way," owner and distiller Lorraine Barber adds, "but we think that the quality of the product is better for it."

Barber Lee Spirits is well known for their mouthwatering single malt rye. "There's a very particular style of rye from way back in the day like in the inception of the country's history using 100% malted rye, very traditional American style of whiskey," Michael Barber explains.

According to Michael Barber, all of the distillery's equipment is custom built to handle the difficult styles of spirits they create. "I want complete control over everything that we do," Michael Barber states, "There are no computers back there directing anything. It's all done by hand, touch, taste."

The distillery has won numerous awards for their spirits including a double gold for their rye whiskey in the San Francisco International Spirits Competition, the oldest and largest of its kind. Barber Lee Spirits is 1 of only 4 distilleries in California to win this accolade in the whiskey category. They also produce Heirloom Corn Bourbon, Apple Brandy, White Rum, Absinthe Blanche, and Moonshine.

"Our goals to always produce a high quality spirit that is both a sippable, as well as a mixable spirit in a cocktail," owner and distiller Aaron Lee says.

Visitors to Barber Lee Spirits inviting tasting room can sample the spirits straight or enjoy them from a rotating, seasonal cocktail menu.

"From start to finish, they are delicious and crisp. I love these drinks," regular customer Liz declares with a smile. "You can't go wrong with anything you order here."

"Our reward is making something that we enjoy and hoping that other people enjoy it as well," Lorraine Barber reveals. "When they do, that's really rewarding."

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