Wednesday, November 9, 2011

McMenamins Leaders in New Brewing Revolution!


That must be a misprint! Has the Doc finally lost all sense of reality?! The bastard has been gone for a year and comes back with this nonsense?

Yes, my friends, McMenamins! Home of the murky and inconsistent quality beers; Home to the McMediocre overpriced pub grub; Home to the $150 dollar a night previously condemned hotel room with no formal bathroom; Home to Brothers who'd rather tote the title 'Restaurateurs' vs. Brewers or anything else?

Edgefields German Still

McMenamins are leading the national field for being cooperative brewers and distillers. A business that has a brewery and distillery. Of course, all you Green and Carbon Foot print A-holes are probably getting spontaneous erections over this that statement! The Doc doesn't really care about that crap, but does care about Craft Distilling which is the newest Hip Revolution.

What about Beer? Eh! Been there and been done to death! While most Oregonians seem to feel that they are the cutting edge of a National phenomenon of craft brewing with their bastion of overdone ales and their 10-15 year delay of getting on the Belgian bandwagon... Beer and brewing is starting to take second fiddle to the new and hip trend of Craft Distilleries. Of course, the combo of Breweries and Distilleries works hand in hand since they use some of the same ingredients and lessen that dreaded Carbon Footprint by being combined.

While the local proprietors of passe beer blogging "enlightenment" continue with their ongoing drivel on subjects of IPA and Double IPA festivals. Ho hum.... For he past five or more years a new revolution has been brewing... Craft Distilling!

Back to the McMenamins! Locals continue to mock: Home of the Terminator Stout, Murky & Muddy Hammerhead IPA and cheap quality Pepperoni Sandwiches for $9. But! Back in 1998, just 5 years after Anchor Brewing lead the nation with America first Craft Whiskey, McMenamin opened their distillery doors at Edgefield. Trailblazing the Brewing and distillery cooperative market. Apparently, not many locals seems to notice this revolutionary start up? Probably busy sipping on those endless array of Northwest IPAs. Sigh.

While we can easily poke fun at McMenamins faults, they're shining star has become their distillates!

Edgefields German made reflux still started pumping out Pear Brandy, Gin and other distilled Eu Du Vies. Sometime later a rather disappointing first batch of Hogshead Whiskey. That was to change!

Today, McMenamins is distilling a Gold Medal Hogshead Whiskey (See American Distilling Institute 2001 awards), along with award winning Brandy and Pear Brandy.

Cornelius Pass French Alambic Charentais pot still

In September of this year, McMenamins is proving that their not sitting back on their haunches and opened a second distillery at the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse & Imbrie Hall estate in Hillsboro, Or.

According to the MCM website:

Set in an old granary barn constructed by the pioneer Imbrie family in the mid-1850s, the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Distillery boasts a century-year-old, 160-gallon Alambic Charentais pot still, gleaming a polished copper against a specially built, solid brick housing (using bricks recycled from Edgefield, the Kennedy School and the Crystal Hotel). 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-timey contraption wasn't the inspiration for the steam punk movement itself?

These Alambic Charentais pot stills are traditionally used to produce cognac. We here at the Roadhouse Distillery will expect a spirit that is silky in texture and retains much of the rich aromatics and flavors of base ingredients we use to craft our spirits -- a direct reflection of the elegant curves and bends of the still itself.

Guests to the property are welcome to order a pint in Imbrie Hall and stroll over to have a look inside this barn-turned-still, where distiller Bart Hance will be working some magic. We plan to release whiskeys, brandies, gins and more in the coming years, with the first batch to be released in early 2012 - stay tuned for a list of spirits to come..

A list of current McMenamin Distillates. All info, images and descriptions below are from MCM website.

Monkey Puzzle

We selected a choice barrel of our finest malt whiskey and dry-hopped it with Teamaker hops, which contain no bitterness. The mix is sweetened with a touch of blackberry honey, harvested from hives found on the Edgefield estate. The result is a bit of a puzzle itself, but a truly great one. There are strong flavors of malt, vanilla and caramel mixed in with citrus hop characteristics and blackberry honey sweetness.

46% alcohol by volume, 92 proof

Herbal Liqueur No. 7

Distilled with a blend of Edgefield estate-grown garden herbs called the Black Rabbit Magic Potion #9, the spirit is bold with flavors of cinnamon, mint and caraway, balanced with the sweetness of organic birch syrup. And what does the number seven signify? According to the distillers (with a little help from their friends), it could mean that the nectar from the wimbled birch kindles this botanical trundle wheel at seven families of laughing botanicals. Or perhaps it refers to the seven incantations: Seven rides on the broom: Seven calls in your cups. We’re not really sure. You’ll have to taste it to figure it out for yourself.

40% alcohol by volume, 80 proof


White Dog Whiskey

Our White Dog – A version of our Hogshead Whiskey before it sees a barrel -- is produced from four unique and complementary malted barleys. The aroma is of rich grain and cereal while the flavor has layers of dark chocolate, malt and roast. The body of the whiskey is full and semi-sweet, lingering on the palate with a surprising smooth finish.

We chose to release our White Dog because we feel it stands strong on its own and is a great companion to its barrel-aged version – Hogshead Whiskey. Even in its infancy as a whiskey, our White Dog is incredibly drinkable in a specialty cocktail or served neat.

46% alcohol by volume, 92 proof


Hogshead Whiskey
American Distilling Institute 2011 Single Malt Whiskey of the Year

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, before striking 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


Alambic "13" Brandy
American Distilling Institute 2011 Bronze Winner "Grape Brandy - Over 10 Years"

This handcrafted brandy was distilled from Pinot Noir grapes. Thirteen years in a French oak barrel have allowed hints of vanilla, cinnamon and floral notes to soften and enrich this fine liquor. Enjoy.

40% alcohol by volume, 80 proof


Edgefield Brandy

Try this barrel-aged grape brandy, a marriage of two distilled Edgefield wines. Aged separately in French oak barrels then blended together and finished in American oak barrels, the spirit boasts a flowery aroma with hints of berries. The flavor is sweet and warm with pronounced vanilla and cherry flavors.

40% alcohol by volume, 80 proof


Pear Brandy
American Distilling Institute 2011 Bronze Winner "Pear Eau de Vie"

A pure and clean spirit, our Pear Brandy is created using 100% Hood River, Oregon-grown pears. Distilled in our Eau de Vie Pot Still, the spirit is hand-bottled, with no barrel aging. It boasts a flavor that captures the true essence of fresh pears.

40% alcohol by volume, 80 proof


Longshot Brandy

The latest version of our popular Longshot Brandy is deeper and more complex than ever. We still use Syrah grapes harvested from Edgefield's own two-acre vineyard, double-distill the wine but then we barrel-age the spirit for one year in a used Syrah wine barrel and then another year in a used Syrah port barrel. The result is a unique brackish-hued brandy that has flavors of raisin, cherries, licorice and spice. The aroma is rich in vanilla, violet and floral notes. Longshot Brandy is perfect as an after-dinner sipping brandy or in a specialty cocktail.

40% alcohol by volume, 80 proof


Penney's Gin

This American dry gin is inspired by its London counterpart that caters to the martini connoisseur. It is handcrafted using the traditional English method in which pure grain spirit is distilled alone, with its vapors passing through carefully selected botanicals. Ingredients include whole juniper berry, sweet orange peel, lemon peel, freshly zested lime and cardamom. The aroma is rich in juniper and fresh citrus, making it ideal for spring- and summertime cocktails.

45% alcohol by volume, 90 proof


Professor's Gin

Formerly known as Vintner's Gin, this spirit is more spicy and herbal than Penney's. Its bolder style is perhaps inspired by the Dutch-style genevre, yet with a brighter, more layered profile. It's an infused gin, in which botanicals are soaked with pure grain alcohol to extract their flavors and scents. The resulting aroma has distinctive juniper, herbal and cracked black pepper notes. Taste hints of coriander and juniper.

45% alcohol by volume, 90 proof


Coffee Liqueur

For all those diehard coffee drinkers looking for a little extra kick, this spirit is imbued with our houseroasted Ethiopian Sidamo coffee beans, imparting a dark, spicy flavor that marries well with the liqueur's rich, silky texture. These elegant, silkscreened bottles make excellent gifts - spot the cat in the painted label in various spots around the Edgefield estate.

20% alcohol by volume, 40 proof

While the majority of Oregon's Wanna-be Hip crowd are happy chugging and plugging along with the old and stale beer trends, those in the know are following the revolutionary developments in the Craft Distillery scene in Oregon.


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Moving Storage said...

Wow, how many types of alchohol could be produced, I am curious if the destination is really good and there is a high quality of the products..?

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TheWeeklyBrew said...

Wow apparently while I've been gone you came back with a vengeance. Been missing the refreshing yet snarky honesty about the beer scene here. Kinda miss being involved but at the same time glad I bailed and chose living life over blogging. McMennamins has already been going down this road for a while. It's already a been there done that thanks to Rogue as well.

I much prefer a good well done liqueur to an Oregon brewers liqueur. My favorite is the Scotch from Clear Creek.