GSN Review: Eastside Distilling Oregon Marionberry Whiskey

In celebration of the berry that is exclusively grown in the Pacific Northwest, Portland’s Eastside Distilling is once again bottling its Oregon Marionberry Whiskey, set to be released today. Crafted using Oregon marionberries and bourbon whiskey from distilleries across the country that have rested in select Oregon oak casks, this is Eastside’s newest product. This spring, they launched three handcrafted whiskeys (Rye, Bourbon, Single Malt) and three other small batch products (Rum, Gin, Brandy).

The famed Oregon marionberry, a cross between Chehalem and Olallie blackberries, was bred at Oregon State University as part of a berry-developing partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the 1950s. Named for Marion County in the Willamette Valley, where the field tests took place and where many marionberries are still grown today, it has often been described as the “king of the blackberries” because of its complex, rich, and earthy flavor that is sweet-yet-tart.

Eastside’s Head Distiller, Jason Ericson describes it as “The Cabernet of Blackberries meets Bourbon Whiskey. I believe marionberry whiskey is where wine drinkers and whiskey drinkers meet,” he continues. “Many of the flavors and aromas of berry and oak will be immediately recognizable to oenophiles. The intense berry flavor mixed with notes of citrus, vanilla, and oak are the perfect introduction to the wide world of whiskey.”

GSN’s Remarks: Ericson sums it up well. This is a marriage between wine-like flavors and whiskey flavors. The fruit has a solid and definitive tang that still adds sweetness, while the spirit carries the oakiness and warmth. Really, the result is very much like a cocktail in many ways. Tasty as a neat pour, it also holds up well over ice. You might even be tempted to add a little to your breakfast table. Eastside has a real winner on their hands, and if you can snag a bottle or two before it disappears, consider yourself lucky. GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Eastside Distilling


GSN Backbar Review: February 2-6, 2015

indexUV vodka has unveiled a new flavor entry, Ruby Red Grapefruit. Launching nationally in March, UV Ruby Red is made with all natural flavors and real grapefruit juice. The brand’s flavor line includes more than 20 entries, also including recently released Sugar Crush and Sriracha flavors.

indexPiedmont Distillers is debuting a new moonshine flavor under its Midnight Moon brand. Midnight Moon claims its Raspberry Shine is the first raspberry moonshine on the market. The new product, which is 90 proof and retails at around $23 a 750-ml., began rolling out nationally February 1. It’s made by hand-filling each jar with real raspberries, Piedmont says.

indexPernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers has extended its Redbreast Irish whiskey brand with a new, limited edition expression matured solely in ex-Oloroso Sherry butts. Produced at Irish Distillers’ Midleton Distillery, Redbreast Mano a Lámh marks the brand’s first all-Sherry matured offering, joining Redbreast’s core range of whiskies aged in a combination of American Bourbon and Spanish Oloroso butts. Redbreast Mano a Lámh will be limited to 2,000 bottles, priced at €65 ($74) each, and will be available exclusively to members of Midleton Distillery’s The Stillhouse club starting this month.

indexLos Angeles-based OM Spirits has launched its new range of organic liqueurs in select U.S. markets. Produced in Michigan using a sugar cane vodka base, OM’s liqueur lineup includes Coconut Lychee, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Cranberry Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon Ginger expressions, as well as a fifth extension currently in the pipeline.

indexGlenmorangie has officially unveiled the latest expression in its specialty Private Edition series, Glenmorangie Tùsail. Rolled out in January, the new entry is made with a rare variety of barley known as Maris Otter, which, according to the brand, creates a complex flavor profile featuring notes of toffee, sweet barley malt, ginger and cinnamon, among others. Tùsail, which is Scots Gaelic for “originary,” is currently available at select retail locations across the U.S. Tùsail marks the sixth entry in Glenmorangie’s Private Edition lineup, coming on the heels of previous releases Glenmorangie Companta, Sonnalta PX, Finealta, Artein and Ealanta.

indexBeam Suntory-owned Pinnacle vodka has extended its flavor range with two new entries—Pinnacle Mimosa and Pinnacle Habanero. Both targeted toward the brunch cocktail occasion, Mimosa (60 proof) and Habanero (70 proof) will retail for $12.99 a 750-ml., in line with Pinnacle’s existing stable of more than 40 flavored vodkas.

indexSonoma-based 35 Maple Street Spirits is introducing two new gin offerings, Uncle Val’s Peppered Gin and Uncle Val’s Restorative Gin. The peppered entry is infused with juniper, red bell pepper, black pepper and pimento, while the Restorative gin is infused with coriander, juniper, cucumber and rose petals. The newcomers join the original Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin ($35)—which debuted in 2012.

indexNew York-based Blackheath Beverage Group has added Portland, Oregon’s Eastside Distilling to its portfolio. Blackheath will now begin a nationwide rollout of Eastside Distilling’s craft spirits stable, which includes Burnside Bourbon, Below Deck rum, Portland Potato vodka, Cherry Bomb whiskey and Oregon Marionberry whiskey.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily