While it’s always exciting to try bottles of the best local spirits while traveling, there’s nothing more notable than getting to taste a custom spirit crafted by the bar itself. Washington bars and restaurants are becoming keen to this trend, where they choose a barrel of their favorite liquor and brand it with a custom label. However, one hotel is taking this idea to the next level, by actually collaborating and crafting a special gin that they can call their own.
Local Spirits Unite
In a unique collaboration, Willows Lodge decided to use two favorite local businesses to create their custom bottle. Copperworks Distilling Company was already well known for their experimental approach to making gin, and DeLille Cellars produced some of the best wine in the state. And while distilling gin in a wine barrel seemed like an out-of-the-box idea, it was one that excited the senses of brewers and drinkers alike.
It all started with the careful selection of the wine barrel – a DeLille $1,100 French oak barrel of Chaleur Blanc. Replace the fine wine with some artisan gin and fast forward through 8 ½ months of tasting and tweaking, and you have a gin that showcases the complex flavors of both the distillery and winery combined. The most notable flavors are juniper and fennel with hints of piña colada and caramel that ease into a creamy aftertaste.
Where to Taste It
If all this talk of gin has made you thirsty, you can check out “Collaborative Cask” gin, now available at both the Barking Frog and Fireside Lounge at Willows Lodge in Woodinville. Twenty-five cases were bottled in December and are currently debuting in different cocktails at the bar and incorporated into different menu items as well.