Pacific Distillery

February 3, 2011

I was visiting Everett, WA a few weekends ago. We had a little down time, so I got out my Tour Map and looked at places near by. Attention seemed to settle on Woodinville, and while everyone has probably been to a winery before, not everyone has been to a distillery. A few phone calls and website visits, and we decided to go to Pacific Distillery, which does craft gin and absinthe production.

Pacific Distillery is set up in a little commercial building where they have a door and a garage door. It turns out there were a few wineries in the adjacent buildings, too. They had a pot still set up and were in the process of distilling the tails on a batch of absinthe, and had the garage door open for ventilation per the fire marshal’s request.

When e got there, the founder Marc Bernhard had stepped out for a bit, so his partner gave us a little bit of a tour until Marc could get back to give us the official tour.

In order to distill, one first has to ferment something. Fermented beer is distilled into whiskey, distilled wine is brandy, and other spirits such as tequila come from fermented agave plants, vodka from fermented potatoes, and rum from fermented sugar cane. Pacific Distillery had a neat little display table out showing the herbs they used in their product, so I asked how long it takes them to ferment. I was quickly corrected: gin and absinthe are not fermented, but is instead a base spirit that has been infused with herbs. In the case of Pacific Distillery, they buy pharmaceutical grade ethanol, which has been distilled more times and is purer than food grade everclear. They then infuse it for awhile with some additional water, and then distill it again. Marc said that not everyone who makes gin distills again, indicating it was an inferior product to his.

Pacific Distillery did not have a license to allow us to taste their product, so I just have to take their word for it that their gin has a milder juniper taste, but instead many other herbs come though. Marc said it was a lot like Plymouth gin. Marc said that their absinthe is made from an old recipe.

Pacific Distillery’s products, Pacifique Absinthe Verte and Voyager Dry Gin, can be found in any Washington State Liquor Store and some liquor stores in Portland. I didn’t think to ask him at the time his opinion of I-1100 and I-1105, but I imagine the current system for him, as a craft distiller (not a winery or brewery) is quite nice and he would have opposed them. If I understand the system correctly, he would sell to the State, and the State distributes his product throughout the state to its stores. However, Marc said the real trick was trying to get bartenders to use his product.


One Response to “Pacific Distillery”

  1. […] Pacific Distillery Posted by candlewineproject Filed in distillery, spirits Tagged: brown spirit, clear spirit, distilling, ethanol Leave a Comment » LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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