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Portland Distillery Roundup Part II: Portland's Best

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Updated January 07, 2013
Oregon in general, and Portland in particular, is famous for its food, beers and wines. Craft spirits have an obvious home here too, and it should come as no surprise that small batch distilleries are starting to take off here.

In Part 1 of the Portland Distillery roundup, we gave descriptions of the distilleries that have banded together under the Distillery Row name -- make sure to go back and check out that article. Here in Part 2 we take a look at six more of the best distilleries in and around Portland, and we'll be following up with more in-depth reviews soon. You can also learn about the Oregon craft distilling scene and other distilleries outside of Portland on the Oregon Distillers Guild website.

  1. Rogue
    Rogue added spirits to its extensive beer offerings back in 2003. Now there's a dark run, Dead Guy Whiskey, hazelnut spice rum that brings Oregon's famous filberts to the booze world, spruce gin that has a bit of a foresty flavor and a white rum.
    Where: Rogue Distillery & Public House, 1339 NW Flanders (also Rogue House of Spirits, 2122 Marine Science Drive in Newport, Oregon)
    Visit:
    Tours offered daily at 5 p.m. or by special request, and the Rogue Public House that contains serves Rogue spirits as well as 38 beers on tap and wine. Rogue's Portland Public House is open from Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m.
    More Info:
    rogue.com/spirits; 503-222-5910

  2. Clear Creek Distillery
    Clear Creek Distillery, founded in 1985, is one of the innovators in the Portland craft distillery scene. The company's varied offerings are crafted from local fruits, including grappa, eau de vis, liqueurs and well regarded brandies -- including pear brandy, with a fully grown fruit inside each bottle. The New Your Times Magazine said that many experts believe Clear Creek's brandies to be among the best fruit brandies ever made in the U.S. Clear Creek also crafts McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt Whiskey.
    Where: 2389 NW Wilson
    Visit: The tasting room and store are open Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Call ahead to confirm hours before your visit.
    More Info: clearcreekdistillery.com; 503-248-9470

  3. Bull Run Distilling Company
    Named for Portland's delicious water that runs from the Bull Run watershed, Bull Run Distilling regularly produces small batch rum, vodka and whiskey, and also creates other special edition libations under the Temperance label -- Temperance Bourbon is available now. Bull Run is located just off of Northwest 23rd Avenue on Quimby Street.
    Where: 2259 NW Quimby Street
    Visit:
    Open for tastings and tours by appointment Thursdays, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.; Fridays & Saturdays, 1 p.m.-7 p.m.
    More Info:
    bullrundistillery.com;

  4. Ransom Spirits
    The Sheridan-based Ransom Spirits crafts organic wines and spirits on a small scale. The still went into operation in 1997, and now produces grappa, eau d'vie, brandy, gin and whiskey.
    Where:
    23101 Houser Road, Sheridan
    Visit: Ransom Spirits is open to visitors by appointment only.
    More Info: ransomspirits.com; 503-876-5022

  5. Sub Rosa Spirits
    Located in Dundee, Oregon, Sub Rosa concocts two unique flavored vodkas -- a Tarragon and a Saffron. Read the descriptions of each small batch and how they vary from one another on Sub Rosa's website -- one of the cool things about booze made by artisan distilleries.
    Where:
    Visit:
    Sub Rosa doesn't have organized tours or shop hours, but the website does list bars, stores and restaurants that carry the vodkas.
    More Info:
    subrosaspirits.com, 503-476-2808

  6. McMenamin's Edgefield & Cornelius Roadhouse Distilleries
    McMenamin's Edgefield Distillery opened in Troutdale, about 15 miles east of Portland, in 1998, and the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse, located in Hillsboro, just added spirit making to its location in 2012. Although McMenamin's is best known for its funky and very cool rehabbed venues -- from chapels to old schools -- they've consistently gotten nods for their beer brewing along the way. Now the local chain can add whiskeys, gins and brandies to the menu -- all made in house.
    Where: 2126 SW Halsey Street, Troutdale; 4045 NW Cornelius Pass Road, Hillsboro
    Visit:
    Check website for hours -- there are multiple bars in each location.
    More Info:
    mcmenamins.com/Distillery

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