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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

McMenamins Edgefield Distillery (Ore)

Plus Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Distillery

It was a cold and rainy day in February 1998, when the Edgefield Distillery opened its  doors, like a dream that had bubbled to the surface after many years of percolating.

 

In company with a small yet resolute group of micro-distillers in this county, the Edgefield Distillery is housed in a rustic lair of a building, once a dry shed for storing root vegetables grown on the Edgefield estate during its county poor farm days, and today serving as the distillery, the Distillery Bar and the 19th hole of Edgefield's 32-hole par-3 golf course.

 

With glass in hand while standing behind a wall of ornate and etched glass, visitors can watch the 12-foot-high, gleaming copper-and-stainless-steel still in full swing. It resembles a hybrid of a 19th-century diving suit and oversized coffee urn, a design made famous by Holstein of Germany, the world's oldest still manufacturer.

 

Whiskies, brandies and gins are created here and specialties of the house include the rich, amber-hued Hogshead Whiskey, fragrant Edgefield Brandy and popular Vintners Gin, as well as Longshot Brandy and Pear Brandy.

 

Maintaining a unique, symbiotic relationship with Edgefield's Brewery and Winery, our Master Distiller uses our own Hammerhead Ale and Edgefield Chardonnay as base spirits, as well as Pinot Gris grapes from our 5-1/2 acre vineyard located at the north edge of the property.

 

McMenamins Edgefield Distillery in Troutdale,  Oregon, is proud to be a member of the Oregon  Distillers Guild. But why did McMenamins get into the distilling business, you may ask, when They already had a good thing going with their beer?

 

Distillation was a natural evolution from brewing beer and vinting wine, since several of their spirits begin with grains or grapes. Location also played a part, as the Edgefield brewery as well as its winery are both a short stroll away from the distillery on Edgefield’s sprawling 74-acre estate.

 

Distillation also made good business sense, as they are now able to supply all of their pubs and small bars with handcrafted spirits.

 

 The Edgefield Distillery has been producing small-batch spirits – whiskies, brandies, gin and more – for over a decade, with exciting plans, new recipes and goals ahead. Housed in the former poor farm’s potato shed, the distillery is equipped with a 12-foot-tall, 65-gallon copper and stainless steel Arnold Holstein pot still. With its many gauges, knobs, levers and windows, the still has become an iconic image for the Distillery and its adjacent pub.

 

And the stuff it produces? Heaven in a bottle. Smooth. Versatile. Rich.

 

Take Hogshead Whiskey, for example, which uses the same barley as is found in their signature Hammerhead Ale. They ferment a barley mash just like making  Hammerhead and then double distil it. The whiskey distillate is then aged in new American white oak barrels for a minimum of three years. The result is a malty liquor with flavours of vanilla and caramel with a deep amber colour.

 

Hogshead is an original. Continuing the independent and innovative styles of Northwest brewers and vintners, this whiskey is distilled with only a passing nod to the great Scotch, Irish and Bourbon distillers and strikes off on its own.

 

Boasting a palate-pleasing combination of malty spirit -- reminiscent of the malted barley grain that began the process -- and the smoky, vanilla sweet-wood that surrounds the spirit until bottling, Hogshead is a rich, amber-hued whiskey. (46% alcohol by volume, 92 proof).

 

Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Distillery (2012)

 

Located in an old granary barn built by the pioneer Imbrie family in the mid-1850s, the distillery boasts a century-year-old, 160-gallon Alambic Charentais pot still, sourced from an old barn in Cognac, France, the still itself has a definite "steam punk" look to it - in fact, one wonders if this type of old-time contraption wasn't the inspiration for the steam punk movement itself? This magnificent still with gleaming polished copper mounted on a solid brick housing using bricks recycled from Edgefield, the Kennedy School and the Crystal Hotel.

 

These Alambic Charentais pot stills are traditionally used to produce cognac. So we expect a spirit that is silky in texture and retains much of the rich aromatics and flavours of base ingredients.

 

Guests to the property are welcome to order a pint in Imbrie Hall and stroll over to have a look inside at this barn-turned-still house, where distiller Bart Hance will be working his trade. There are  plans to release whiskeys, brandies, gins and more in the coming years.

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Edgefield Distillery

2126 S.W. Halsey

Troutdale, Ore 97060

 

Local: (503) 669-8610

USA 800-669-8610

 

CPR Distillery

4045 N.W. Cornelius Pass Rd.

Hillsboro, Ore.

(503) 640-6174

 

Visitor Facilities

 

Please Check before travelling.

Edgefield Distillery Spirits

Hogshead Whiskey 46% ABV, 92 proof.

 

White Dog Whiskey 46%ABV, 92 proof

 

Monkey Puzzle 46% ABV 92 proof

 

Also Produces

Brandies Gin and Rum

 

Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Distillery Spirits

White Owl Whiskey. 49.3% ABV, 98.6 proof

A Wheat based whiskey is produced in an antique Charante Alambic still

 

Also produces Morning Dew Brandy

Edgefield Distillery Spirits

Hogshead Whiskey 46% ABV, 92 proof.

American Distilling Institute 2011 Single Malt Whiskey of the Year

 

White Dog Whiskey 46%ABV, 92 proof

A version of the Hogshead Whiskey before it sees a barrel -- is produced from four unique and complementary malted barleys.

 

Monkey Puzzle 46% ABV 92 proof

A selected a choice barrel of the distilleries finest malt whiskey and dry-hopped it with Teamaker hops, which contain no bitterness.

 

Also Produces

Brandies Gin and Rum

 

Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Distillery Spirits

White Owl Whiskey. 49.3% ABV, 98.6 proof

A Wheat based whiskey is produced in an antique Charante Alambic still

 

Also produces Morning Dew Brandy

 

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