We couldn’t be more excited to announce our latest collaboration, which is a little something we’ve been brewing up with our local, neighborhood distilling friends at Calwise Spirits. Make yourself comfortable, and maybe prep your nearest whisley tumbler or Glencairn if you have one handy, because your regular drinking pleasures are about to get a bit more elevated.

“Axe Hole” is a special edition, single malt whiskey distilled from a mash of traditional brewing grains and aged for three years in American oak barrels.

Brewed and distilled under our own roof here at Firestone Walker Brewing Company and down the road at Calwise Spirits, only 100 cases of Axe Hole Single Malt Whiskey were produced from a total of three barrels.

Want to take a big whiff of all the details? Of course you do. The Axe Hole Single Malt Whiskey comes from an all-barley sour mash fermented by Firestone Walker and distilled by Master Distiller Aaron Bergh at Calwise Spirits, which is located just a mile from the brewery in Paso Robles. In keeping with the requirements of American single malt whiskey, it was aged in all-new American oak barrels prior to blending and bottling. Bergh also held some additional barrels back for a second bottling to come in 2025. 

“A lot of people associate single malts with the peaty character of traditional Scotch, but ours is closer to a bourbon with these vanilla and caramel notes that you get from the charred American oak,” Bergh said. “I love how smooth and unique it turned out, with these beautiful fruit and cola notes that can only come from the sour barley mash provided by Firestone Walker.”

Bergh added, “The brew side often gets overlooked when it comes to distilling, but it’s foundational. It was fun to get out of the way and let the masters of brewing handle that side of things, and it’s why this whiskey tastes so good.”

This is the second collaborative spirit created by Calwise Spirits and Firestone Walker, following the limited release of “Old Tom” gin in 2022. 

“These collaborations are another way for us to deepen our artisanal roots and share what we do with a friend and neighbor,” said Nick Firestone. “We’ve been working with spirits barrels for nearly 20 years to create our barrel-aged strong ales, and we see this as an extension of that tradition.”

Axe Hole is available at the Calwise Spirits tasting room in Paso Robles as well as online at CalwiseSpirits.com.