Editor’s Note: This guest post comes to us from a favorite local blogger, Evelyn Shoop. Evelyn is a freelance writer, and can be found at Momsicle. She is also quickly becoming a booze-infusing genius.
Thank you Evelyn for writing this great post and getting the word out about one of Portland’s great craft distilleries.
The best night out is sometimes marked by what you don’t make it to. Recently, we went with friends to Portland’s craft brandy distiller, Stone Barn Brandyworks. We were supposed to go to another distillery afterwards, but we fell in love and just stayed at Stone Barn. (You know those guests who just won’t leave? That was us.)
Stone Barn was started as a passionate hobby by Portland couple Erika and Sebastian, who will admit that their youngest child was a bit of a distillery-orphan at the end of high school as they spent more and more time distilling and trying out new recipes.
When we arrived, Sebastian was distilling a pear cider, and we got to stick our heads in the giant distiller to take in the luxurious aroma as cider poured in. This was going to be turned in to a type of French, fortified liqueur (like a port, but with pears).
The advantage of visiting a small, local distillery is that the enthusiasm is almost as potent as the fruity, alcohol-laced air. And sitting amongst distillery equipment makes you think you might be in a Medieval alchemist’s lab, which isn’t the case at a more contrived tasting room.
Stone Barn has over a dozen types of brandy, whisky, and infused liqueurs to try–thanks to Sebastian’s passion for mixing different grains, fruit, and barrel-aging processes. Our favorites were the apricot, coffee, and green walnut liqueurs. The apricot, in particular, tastes like handfuls of apricots were smashed into a bottle and then drizzled with honey.
But their whiskies, and–of course–brandies, are well-worth tasting.
The real star of our night, however, was the whisky sour that Sebastian made with Stone Barn’s whiskey and apricot liqueur.
Stone Barn Brandyworks liqueurs and brandies are sold in many local liquor stores (and occasionally at farmers markets), so if you are looking for a great gift, ask about it. But definitely stop by for a tasting. Stone Barn is open for tastings on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays; and other times, such as Friday evenings, by request.