We're in the Northwest this week - visiting friends, visiting distilleries, and talking to a few potential investors. Emily's flying in tomorrow, but I (Joel) took the chance to visit Dry Fly, Washington's first distillery since prohibition - er, first legal distillery anyway. Dry Fly had to get the laws changed before they could start operating, and their good work opened the doors for my home state of Washington to become the early leader in craft distilling. Just five years later there are dozens of distilleries in Washington. And last year Dry Fly was named Distillery of the Year by the American Distilling Institute, which is kind of a big deal. As the guy next to me on the plane yesterday would say, it's "tough sledding." I don't know what it means either.
My dad and I got a great tour from Mike, and tasted their wheat whiskey and gin. We have a bottle of the wheat at home, so that wasn't new. It's light and smooth - a very good introduction for a new whisky drinker - not complex enough to have what our friend Tim would call a finish - but he likes the stuff that tastes like railroad ties rising up into the heavens on seagulls' backs. (For the record: so do I). Can't please everyone.
But the gin - what a phenomenal surprise! Dry, but still fresh and floral. Very well balanced. They vapor distill through juniper, coriander, lavender, apple (WA!), and... wait for it... hops! Yes, hops. Emily's been infusing some gins with hops - Em - you're headed in the right direction!
Dad came away with the two bottles that I've placed between myself and the editorial page of the Spokesman Review. And I came away with a hat. Yep, I'm a fan. And look - there's snow out that window!
Perhaps a hot toddy tonight?