The expansion of tipsy beverages made right here in our own state continues. Herewith, some recent news from our distillers and cider makers.
OOLA Unleashes Whiskey Discourses: With the first bottling released not too long ago, OOLA is undertaking a series of “Whiskey Discourses.” What does that mean? Think of it as a bunch of conversations between whiskies and different influencers. The first one was between OOLA’s Waitsburg bourbon and a French Oak barrel that had aged a premier Washington Cabernet Sauvignon.
The bourbon aged in the barrel for nine months, and it brought out all sorts of interesting things: more vanilla, candied citrus, toffee, and more. The second was a smoked whiskey; here the Waitsburg bourbon conversed with malted barley smoked with cherry and apple hardwoods. The third will also be smoky, but with different items bringing the smoke. It’s exciting stuff, and very limited in amounts. Stop by the distillery to learn more.
Seattle Cider Company Releases Harvest Series: Expanding on last year’s award-winning 2013 Washington Heirloom cider, this SoDo favorite has recently brought out two more in its Harvest Series.
The ciders in this series are handcrafted at the cidery and designed to feature and highlight specific aromas and tastes of Washington-grown apple and pear varieties. This year, the series contains the 2014 Washington Heirloom cider, which features Washington-grown Newtown Pippin, Gravenstein, and Espopus Spitzenberg apples, plus 10 varieties of wild-fermented French and English apples grown at WSU’s Extension Campus in Mount Vernon, Gravenstein Rosé, which uses floral early-season Gravensteins fermented and aged in Crucible Wines’ Petit Verdot barrels, and Perry, made from Seckel, Starkrimson, and Forelle pears.
2bar Bourbon Indiegogo Barrel Program: Taking to crowdfunding to help with the expansion of its bourbon program, 2bar has a new campaign on Indiegogo that you can be a part of, to help it purchase new barrels.
“As a small business, buying barrels is difficult," 2bar writes on its Indiegogo page. "There is a large upfront cost for barrels, and then it takes time for them to age...With this we can expand our production to meet the rapidly growing demand for our bourbon.” The gifts for those who donate range from shot glasses and stickers to getting to work with them on a whole barrel, from which you get 100 bottles. That’s delicious donating.
Tieton Cider Works Uncorks Cidermaker’s Reserve and Sparkling Perry: Hopefully as they were released just weeks ago on May 1, you’ll still be able to find these limited-time unique numbers from Tieton. Both are corked and caged in bubbly style, and both bring a lot of individual flavor to a glass. The Cindermaker’s Reserve is a blend of 40 varieties of “bitter-sharp and bitter-sweet apples,” which are fermented for over a year and aged in used bourbon barrels. The Sparkline Perry is a mix of 11 estate-grown Perry pears, and is a very complex tipple.
Not to be confused with just “pear cider” (which can be just a cider-style drink flavored with pear concentrate, especially when made by big conglomerates), Perry is made more like Champagne, and not made by many folks.