It’s no secret the people of Portland, Oregon love their beer. PDX has been hailed as the “world’s best beer city,” boasting brewery tours, a huge culture of home-brewing, and the best of the best gluten-free beers that are distributed nationally (really, O Mission‘s pale ale is surprisingly great). But what about Portland-made spirits? Is Oregon ranking high overall for tasty, effective alcohol (sorry wine, we’ll get to you at some point) or meant to stay in the barrel with the craft brews? Here are some of the best, award-winning Oregon-made liquor around.
This smooth craft gin has hints of juniper, cardamom, anise, and lavender – adding just the right amount of spice to any cocktail without any harshness. Possibly the best gin we’ve ever tasted.
Imported bourbon from Indiana that’s been aged in the Pacific Northwest, 4 Spirits serves up a deliciously sweet whiskey with vanilla and caramel notes – perfect for a novice whiskey drinker.
A wonderful balance of clean, sweet, and spicy flavors mixed with a velvety texture, this Portland-made vodka gives Grey Goose a run for their money. Perfect with ice and soda, or straight up, this Russian-style vodka holds up against any international brand.
I would imagine this is the type of rum Captain Jack Sparrow would drink – complex, sweet, fruity, unique and guaranteed to get you drunk! Pacific Rum is distilled from fermented organic cane juice before aging in ex-bourbon barrels for over four weeks, setting it apart from molasses-based rums.
Clear Creek is Oregon’s oldest brandy maker and it shows when you sip their brandy. Distilled from five different Oregon wines and aged in French oak barrels, it’s as warm as cognac.
Genever predates original sin – I mean gin – and Oregon Spirit’s take on it is powerful and whiskey-like – great for martinis and Mathai’s. Merrylegs won best in class for this genever and infused it with juniper berries, making it taste like Oregon itself.
Though this triple sec is weak compared to national brands, it’s a low-cost stable for many dive bars around Portland. Put some in a Sidecars or Kamikaze.
Made from Clear Creek wine, Ransom dry vermouth is flowery, tart, and herbaceous. With hints of wormwood, anise, and cardamom, this vermouth is perfect for an after-work martini.
These crafty bitters infused with an array of aromatics like gentian, mugwort, allspice and cardamom are great for traditionalists who love a kick in their Old Fashioned!
The difference between aged amber rum and white rum is that the amber color comes from the wood it’s aged in. Canon Beach’s amber rum is yet another Oregon liquor to win best in class from the American Distilling Institute. Sip a Mai Tai while relaxing on those slightly cold, damp, Canon Beach days.
Eastern Oregon’s Stein distillery is much more sophisticated than most other Oregon rye whiskeys (which are only 80 proof and fairly young). This whiskey has fruity, floral, and spicy notes – perfect for a Mint Julep.
Which Oregon liquor is your spirit animal?