The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2017

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54  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2017 eattle's Canon: Whiskey and Bitters Emporium claims to hold the largest spirit collection in the Western Hemisphere. Owner Jamie Boudreau, who also serves as a bartender, says it's grown to around 4,000 bottles; in fact, he's pretty sure it's the largest collection at any bar in the world. In that context, any whiskey has to be amazingly good to find its way into Canon's well. Which is exactly what Portland's Eastside Distilling has achieved. Eastside's Burnside 4 Year Barrel Aged Bourbon goes into every Canon cocktail that calls for bourbon. And all of their unflavored whiskies are kept in stock. "As a bartender I want the best pos- sible spirit, and as a businessman it has to be affordable," Boudreau explains. "Finding a flavorful whiskey that's going to be available all the time is difficult to do in Washington State. Burnside is affordable and delicious. It comes from a great distillery; it's a good proof, and I can get it all the time." Canon opened in 2011 and ever since has racked up an impressive array of "Best Bar" awards from regional, national and international publications, including being named Outstanding Bar Program by the James Beard Awards and garnering the World's Best Spirit Selection honor from Tales of the Cocktail. With the global rec- ognition that this overachieving little (48-person capacity) bar has gained, it's no surprise that a lot of people are paying attention to every spirit choice that Boudreau makes. "Pretty much any time we do anything it's noticed," he admits. Another selling point for the choice of Burnside was that no one else in the city, and few in the country, were pouring it. "This was a good whiskey to choose because we were the first to use it in the well," he explains. "When we put it there I didn't know anyone in the city even carrying it. Now that's changed. When customers see us using it, it sparks a conversation." On a blustery March morning in Portland, Oregon, Mel Heim is sitting behind her cluttered desk in the only heated room in the Eastside Distilling warehouse. Outside her window, the 41,000-square-foot space is mostly bare, EASTSIDE DISTILLING FINDS GREAT SUCCESS AND GROWTH IN PORTLAND AND BEYOND by Paul Gregutt A selection from Portland's Eastside Distilling's portfolio: Portland Potato Vodka, Marionberry Whiskey, Below Deck Spiced Rum and Burnside Bourbon. PHOTO: LEAH NASH BY Leaps AND Bounds

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