Saturday, 2012 July 21

There is a local Seattle company, Road Dog Tours, that has been doing brewery tours for years. In 2010 Washington state changed its laws to allow craft distilleries, so Road Dog Tours recently added a distillery tour. I was excited to take the tour and Krista, ever patient, humored me.

As I understand it, the tour always includes three distilleries, but exactly which three is subject to change. We visited, in order, Fremont Mischief Distillery, Batch 206, and Sound Spirits.

Mischief was great. We tasted all four of their offerings: vodka, gin, and two whiskeys. I'm not really a vodka drinker and, while I thought the vodka was fine, it wasn't something I was interested in. I am a whiskey drinker and, honestly, I wasn't impressed by either of them. (The whiskeys aren't actually made in Washington, since there hasn't been enough time to age them since the state laws were changed. I believe they said they were made in Portland and shipped up. They are, however, making local whiskey now.)

I have firmly believed that gin is a nasty, nasty drink for as long as I've been a drinker. I'm not really sure why I came to this conclusion; probably on the basis of a couple really bad gin-and-tonics that I had choke down when out with friends. So I almost skipped tasting the gin. I'm ever so glad I didn't - what a wonderful flavor! I liked it so much, in fact, that I bought a bottle. That was the only bottle of spirits I bought as a result of the tour.

Following the tasting, we were ushered into a back room at Mischief where we listened to a very interesting talk about the history of the company and given a primer on how spirits are made.

Next up was Batch 206. Its lineup was very similar to that of Mischief, with a vodka and a gin taking center stage. They also have some barrels of locally-produced whiskey aging in the back, but it wasn't ready to be tasted yet.

Their gin was excellent - possibly as good as Mischief's. I didn't buy a bottle on the tour, but I suspect it will be the next bottle of liquor I buy. I'm looking forward to doing a side-by-side tasting.

Finally was Sound Spirits. They had many options to choose from and we got to taste them all - I was definitely a little buzzed by the time we got through them. Unfortunately nothing there seemed like a standout. Their facility also had much more of a "founder's garage" feel to it than did the others, which were purely professional.

Overall the tour was great, and apparently I'm now a fan of gin as well.

Sunday, 2012 June 10 Saturday, 2012 August 18