New Local Spirits, Tasting Parties and Other Drinking News

A.J. Rathbun
copperworks distillery
A special delivery arrived recently at Copperworks Distilling Company in downtown Seattle

As the seasons get ready to turn (and soon, let's hope, 'cause I could use a bit more sun), it’s a good time to check in and see what our local bars and distillers are up to. We’re lucky to live in such a creative cocktail culture, because there’s always fun and exciting things happening, including the below.

El Gaucho is a "Society Spot" for Scotch
All Scotch lovers, perk up. Seattle’s revered restaurant El Gaucho was recently named one of three “Society Spots” by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. What does that mean? That the bar in the restaurant now has a number of rare and limited-edition scotches that up until recently have only been available to members of the Society, and that patrons of El Gaucho can now sample these exclusive tipples. An interesting side note: Seattle has the most Scotch drinkers per capita in the United States. If you’re one of them, then head down to the restaurant for your Scotch fix.

Daniel’s Broiler Celebrates Bourbon
Keeping in the whiskey family, the second annual Bourbon Bash is happening on Saturday, March 16 at 5 p.m. at Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue. More than 80 whiskies will be available for tasting, including a number of Pappy Van Winkle bourbons (not only super highly rated, but very hard to track down) and other remarkable sippers such as Woodford Reserve’s Four Wood bourbon and Col. E.H. Taylor’s small-batch bourbon. Tickets cover tasting, appetizers, a guide, and more, and run $125 for regular and $175 for VIP.

Two New Spirits from Sidetrack Distillery
As if their intriguing Bete beet spirit recently profiled in our Unusual Local Spirits article wasn’t enough for the adventuresome drinker, the fine folks at Kent’s Sidetrack Distillery have recently released two delicious new liqueurs. The first, Nocino, is an Italian-influenced green walnut liqueur, with a full nutty taste and a bit of a kick (and the best walnut liqueur I’ve had outside of the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy). They’ve also just release a lush Cassis, made with black currents grown on the farm in Kent – where the walnuts for the Nocino are also grown. Both are available at Wine World and Spirits in Wallingford.

Sound Spirits Gets Chocolate Liqueur Right
While not on the shelves yet, you should know that Sound Spirits is also getting ready to unleash two intriguing products. The first is a chocolate liqueur, or Cacao. Now, don’t be nervous if you’ve had a bad experience due to the majority of chocolate liqueurs being overly sugary messes. The Sound Spirits Cacao is made with locally-crafted Theo’s cocoa nibs, and has a much purer chocolate flavor, without being overly sweet. They’re also releasing a mint, or Menthe, liqueur made with fresh mint that’ll be great with a bit of bourbon on Derby day. Both will be sold under their new “Depth Liqueurs” banner, and should be available starting in April.

Special Delivery at Copperworks
Not too long ago, an interesting delivery was made at the new Copperworks Distilling Company down on the waterfront in Seattle. Four custom, copper stills came to their distilling and tasting space all the way from Scotland. The big one weighed about three tons and is over 15 feet tall, and will eventually allow the distiller to produce up to two 53 gallon barrels of whiskey a day. It’s good to know our local spirit scene isn’t slowing down anytime soon.