From the May/June 2011 issue of Northwest Palate
Better known for its beers, it surprises many to learn that Oregon’s funky McMenamins is home to one of the Northwest’s oldest artisan distilleries. Edgefield Distillery opened in 1998 in Troutdale, Oregon, and today offers guests a range of spirits that includes four brandies, three whiskeys ( one of which is available for sale only on St. Patricks day—and sells out in a matter of hours), a coffee liqueur, and their first herbal liqueur, mysteriously name Herbal Liqueur No. 7.
Distillery Manager Clark McCool is proud to note that their Hogshead Whiskey just won Best of class for Whiskey at the 2011 American Distilling Institute’s conference (and Bronze Awards for their Alambic 13 Brandy). Not content to rest on such laurels, McCool tells Northwest Palate that they will be releasing a unique new product in May: a hop-infused (how Northwest-y!) Hogshead Whiskey called Monkey Puzzle.
“We have infused it with a local, organically-grown hop called Teamaker that has no alpha acids, so we are able to capture all of the aromatics without adding the buttering component found in most hops grown here in the Northwest,” says McCool. ” We slightly sweetened the product with some blackberry honey that came from the hives we have here on the property at Edgefield.”
Later in the year McMenamins will also be opening a second distillery at their Cornelius Pass Roadhouse property, near Beaverton. They will fire up a 264-gallon Alambic Chartene still from Cognac, France, that has been in storage at Edgefield for 12 years.
Lots more spirited products would seem to be on their way from Mcmenamins.
(Note: Edgefield Distillery products are only served at McMenamins pubs and can only be purchased by the bottle at the Edgefield and Old St Francis School; or at the new Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Distillery when it opens.)