Lap around Washington, the start.
My vacation plans for 2019 was to take a lap around Washington, staying as close to the border as possible while see a lot of the state. In planning our vacation, I had hoped to visit a number of Washington distilleries along the way. My original list started at 16 then went up or down depending on a number of circumstances. I found a few surprises and was dismayed on 2 occasions.
Our vacation started when we rolled off the Whidbey Island ferry at Clinton. Just up the hill was our first stop, Cadee Distillery. We arrived just after the scheduled opening time and found the tasting room closed. A bit later a young lady came out and informed us the owner was running late and would not be there for a while. I really wanted to sample some of the Cadee products but we had a busy day ahead of us and really couldn’t wait. I bought a bottle of Cascadia Rye whiskey for less than its available at Total Wine. I didn’t crack the bottle till a few weeks ago. Cascadia is finished in Portuguese Port barrels and does have a hint of the port. It has a strong taste and a smooth bite. My preferred method to drink it is with just a light splash of ice water. This bottle will have a starring role on the top shelf of my liquor cabinet. I give it a 4.95 out of 5. It is just a slimmest of points below my favorite rye, Glacier Distilling’s North Fork rye.
The next stop was Whidbey Island Distillery in Langley. The distillery is in a low slung building, it doesn’t look like a place fine spirits are made. Tami and I were given a tour of the distillery and told how they make their items. We sample 3 of their 4 liqueurs and I had a taste of their rye whiskey. All their liqueurs are made by distilling wine into brandy then aging the result in real fruits.
Our first taste was the Loganberry Liqueur. Very nice and not too sweet. This would make an excellent sipper or mixed with a lemon/lime soda. You first note the sweetness then as it moves to the back of your tongue, the tartness of the brandy takes over. Tami wasn’t as enamored with it as I was. I give it a 4.4 out of 5.
The next tasting was the Blackberry Liqueur. It’s not as sweet as the Loganberry. It is smoother than the Loganberry and has an excellent finish. This would be nice over some good vanilla ice cream or drizzled over a piece of warm blackberry pie. I give it a 4.8 out of 5.
Next was the Raspberry Liqueur. It has a bold raspberry flavor with a tart finish similar to the Loganberry. I thought it was on par with the Loganberry, my wife, who is not a fan of all things raspberry, gave it a meh. I give it a 4.4 out of 5. I make a killer fruit coulis I put over grilled pound cake, I would love to add any of these liqueurs to my next batch. Unfortunately for us, they were out of their Boysenberry Liqueur. It’s the newest member of their lineup and their first batch was very popular.
I also enjoyed my sample of their Bunker Rye. It has a very strong rye flavor thanks to it’s mash bill of 51% rye and 49% barley. It has a smooth bite and a bit of burn on the way down. I give it a 4.2 out of 5. If I have rye on my list of products to try and potentially buy during visits to other distilleries or I would have brought one home. We left with a bottle of the Blackberry Liqueur. We are going up that way in a few months, another stop will be made and we will buy more than one bottle.
The next stop was Mutiny Bay Distillery, it was not shown as being open but I was hoping to catch someone there if not just to make a purchase. Unfortunately the tasting room was closed for remodeling so I hope to stop by next time I’m in the area.
Our next stop was Deception Distilling in Anacortes. It’s located near the Swinomish Casino just off Highway 20. As their website suggests, I called to see about visiting but no one would be available at the time we would be there. Deception products are available at a number of stores and establishments in the Skagit county area.
Our last stop this day was Valley Shine Distillery. This was our third visit. We left with bottles of the always excellent Benjamin’s Bourbon and one of my wife’s favorites, Limoncello. You can read my review of Valley Shine at one of my previous previews here.
Cadee Distillery, 8912 WA-525, Clinton.
Whidbey Island Distillery, 3466 Craw Road, Langley.
Mutiny Bay Distillery, 5690 Cameron Rd, Freeland
Deception Distilling, 9946 Padilla Heights Rd, Anacortes.
Valley Shine Distillery, 320 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon.