By Father John Rayls
I do love the concept of grain to glass and I admit to a bias in favor of that concept. However, I have also found that adhering to this concept by itself doesn’t automatically mean I’ll love the whiskey. By contrast, I have also found that a whiskey being sourced and bottled doesn’t automatically mean I won’t love it, I have several examples to prove it.
Oregon Spirit Distillers is one of those craft distilleries who take great care and a lot of pride in their whiskey distilling craft, and the are one of those grain to glass operations. They have been around since 2009, and consider themselves “spirit geeks,” which isn’t a bad trait for a craft distiller.
Their bourbon is aged 4 years and bottled at 94 proof, and has a bright copper color in both bottle and glass. The legs are easily viewed but are thin, numerous and inconsistent. The nose rises to meet you and is filled with slight earthy tones, cereal with fresh fruit, light new oak and leather, caramel and vanilla. You may also find some slight alcohol burn.
There is a light mouthfeel with a surprising full mouth activity. On the palette, there are notes of vanilla, cereal and a certain earthiness. It’s slightly sweet and slightly hot. A long finish engages early and dominates with pepper and oak and heat that appears in wave after wave. The finish is definitely the highlight of the tasting experience.
You should be able to find a bottle at or near the $37.00 mark if you take your time, and it is now available around the U.S.