The Blend

First Run is a decadent and balanced blend comprised of (1) whiskey distilled from craft Stout beer, aged in French Oak for 8 years, (2) whiskey distilled from craft Pilsner beer, aged in New American Oak for 5 years, and (3) a Rye selected for its spice to round out the back palate.

Nose: slightly sweet, toasted vanilla, citrus

Tasting notes: dark chocolate, citrus, tobacco, oak, allspice, creamy mouthfeel

First Run

Rye Whiskey & Hop Flavored Whiskey
53% Alcohol by Volume
106 Proof
750 ml



First Run is an American whiskey distilled in California by a 13th generation Master Distiller, Marko Karakasevic, using a rare copper alambic pot still – one of only five in existence. The distillation process with an alambic still – mostly retired by the industry – is far less efficient than a column still, but the end result is whiskey with more body and richness.

The Master Distiller creates a small batch of distillate over a 10-day period, sleeping in four hour shifts. He personally decides where each cut is made and selects ‘the heart of hearts’ for double distillation.

The Wolves team tested more than 50 different barrels and made 19 different blends before landing on a dangerously smooth 106 proof expression for its initial release.


Each bottle is wrapped by hand, and the label is made of Italian sheepskin leather.  The glass is heavy and French-Cut, allowing the sheepskin to lay flush against the glass – a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing,’ so to speak. The cork top is made of maple wood.


WOLVES is a unique California whiskey from an equally unique creative group, both based in California. The creatives behind Wolves, James Bond (Undefeated) and Jon Buscemi (Buscemi, Truff, Oliver Peoples) have consistently followed their own paths. Authenticity has been their North Star. When they decided to put the most interesting whiskey on the market, they knew they would need more than a mass-market distillery.

They found what they were looking for – something truly different – at home in California. Nestled between the woods and vines of California’s wine country, lives a 13th generation Master Distiller making bespoke whiskey with the care, skill, and attention not easily found elsewhere. For 35 years, this distillery has operated by the same code and compass that James and Jon abide. Barrels were tasted, samples were made, hands were shook. ‘First Run’ was born, and the rest is history.


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