I realized it has been over 7 months since last I blogged here. Most of our updates have gone out in the form of Facebook and G+ posts; quick and easy updates to let you know what we’re up to… but how about a nice recap since the last post to bring you all up to speed and give you a hint of what may be on the horizon!
In July we finally received our retail sales license from the state allowing us to sell directly out of our shared tasting room. This was a huge boon for us, as we don’t yet have distribution into OLCC liquor store nor out of state distribution. Because of our size, tasting room sales has been our primary focus and only outlet for bottle sales aside from local events. Thus far sales have been good and steady, which is falling right in line with our projections from the start. Once we can support distribution volumes, we hope to see a boon in sales outside of the tasting room as well.
Of course, we can’t sell anything if we don’t focus on production, so since December 2013 when we received our DSP (Distilled Spirits Plant) permit, we’ve been brewing and distilling as much as we can. While a portion of our whiskies go into the bottle unaged (our new make line has been well received by a wide range of customers and palates), we’ve also been putting down a large portion into oak barrels for aging. This has got to be one of the hardest parts of the business for us, aside from all the paperwork: waiting on whiskies to age is a practice in zen-like patience! Of course we’ve paid very close attention to these first run barrels, as we are aging in 5 gallon volumes and run the risk of quickly over-oaking if we don’t catch a barrel in time. This diligence paid off when we discovered the process ran more quickly than expected and the whiskies were at the right point after 4.5 months instead of our expected 6-9 month predictions!
You can imagine our excitement this week as we finally launch our aged Oregon Single Malt and aged Fifty/Fifty products to the market! Thanks to an awesome crew of volunteers last weekend we were able to get the aged products into bottles, capped, sealed, labeled, and packaged into their respective gift boxes for release at the Great American Distiller’s Festival on October 24th/25th! These bottles really do represent the culmination of our efforts since December 2012 to build this business and develop a product which we are proud to bring to the market as a unique and distinctly Oregon made whiskey.
So, you might be asking: what now? And that is indeed a great question! We will continue to make our flagship whiskies as our primary focus while also producing some seasonal brandies as we come across fruit that can give us the flavour profiles we are looking for. We’re also looking into the next year as an experimentation year where we can play with different grains, malting, smoking, and barrel aging techniques to develop even more unique whiskies. And we even have a few secret projects on paper which will start R&D processing soon to nail down the right recipes and flavours for release in the future, so keep an eye out on our social channels where you may catch a whiff of something completely new to the market!
We’ve got big ideas and grand plans for the future, the least of which is substantial growth in our production volumes… but we can’t do any of it, and couldn’t have come this far, without your support for our vision and initial product releases. We’d be silly to say we’ve done this all ourselves, as it truly has taken a village of family and friends to help get us to this point. So cheers to you all for the support, and here’s to a future of amazing progress and new products!