Distillers from around the country set up tables Saturday and Sunday at the Bossanova Ballroom (722 E Burnside), this year’s venue for the 5th Annual Great American Distillers Festival. From the tables they offered samples of spirits and schwag in the form of buttons, stickers, and brochures.
Heather, Diane, and I made it to the festival Sunday afternoon. We sampled local Integrity Spirit‘s Trillium Absinthe and Pacifique Absinthe from Pacific Distillery in Woodinville, Washington. Though I enjoyed them both, Pacifique’s smooth, slightly coriander-sweet floral concoction beats Trillium, which tastes and smells predominantly of anise and alcohol.
Four LOFT liqueurs made their way into our tasting thimbles. My favorites, just like last fall, were spicy ginger and tangerine. Lemon grass was nice, but lavender is just sweet and only vaguely floral – not even aromatic enough to complain it tastes like soap.
One of my favorite spirits is Clear Creek Distillery‘s pear brandy. Clear Creek did not participate this year, but Brandy Peak, out of Brookings, brought a tasty, though not quite as refined, bartlett pear brandy.
Alas, I couldn’t bring myself to try the Bakon Vodka, blech, but they had the niftiest schwag: bacon buttons!
Visit Cocktalia for another account of the festival, including news on the cocktail competitions that took place over the weekend too (and which I missed in my short visit): Great American Distillers Festival 2009