An Argument

I've oft been told by learned friars,
  That wishing and the crime are one,
And Heaven punishes desires
  As much as if the deed were done.

If wishing damns us, you and I
  Are damned to all our heart's content;
Come, then at least we may enjoy
  Some pleasure for our punishment!

Thomas Moore (1779-1852)

Don't think Mr. Moore was talking to his bottle, but the argument holds.

We're busy working on a Whiskey Revolution project with our 5 Distillery Row friends- each of us making a barrel of whiskey from the same mash (100% PNW-grown malted 2 row barley).  Barreling is scheduled for Sunday June 22.  We'll be comparing the whiskies over time to explore our distinct distilling styles.

Nocino Update

There have been some repeated questions regarding the status and availability of Stone Barn Nocino, so this morning, we wish to provide an update on the seasonal liqueur.  Unfortunately, it is sold out until the next batch is ready.  Here's a report from the field:

Erika and I drove out to one of our walnut trees to ascertain how they are doing.  Here a photo-  the nuts are still quite small, about the size of quail eggs.  Over the next month, they should double in size, roughly like small jawbreaker.    Traditionally, walnuts are collected on the feast day of St. John in Italy, June 24th.  Not so coincidentally, the 24th is also celebrated as Midsummer's Day.

To keep with tradition, we'll pick some walnuts on the 24th, but have already planned a picking/ and chopping party for Saturday morning the 28th where the bulk of the work is done.  Last year our picking fell on the Blues Festival weekend, without ill effect.  We call this latitudinal latitude.

The green walnuts are chopped, and set to soak in rye spirits with vanilla, cloves, and other spices (Note to self: Find Recipe from last year).  It is not until early November that we strain the maceration and combine with barrel-aged brandy, organic cane syrup, and balance the spices.  Expect the first 2014 bottling around Thanksgiving.

Perhaps to tease you, Saveur Magazine's July issue has several Nocino Cocktail recipes, including one of ours, in an article entitled Summer Nectar.

Stone Barn Open House Drinks

The June 6 Open House was a successful event.  Here's the drinks served:

Vanilla Ice Cream with Coffee Liqueur
     Almost Golden

     Equal Parts:

       Quince Liqueur
       Unoaked Rye Whiskey
       Mint simple syrup
       Fresh-squeezed lemon juice

       A few drops of Orange Bitters
       Top with some sparkling cider
       Garnish with a lemon twist

     Rhubarb Sour

     Equal parts:
       Rhubarb Liqueur
       Unoaked Oat Whiskey
       Cardamom simple syrup
       Fresh-squeezed lemon juice

       A few drops of Orange Bitters
       A few drops of Peychaud's Bitters
       Cherry Shrub (a drinking vinegar) to taste
       Garnish with a brandied cherry

Mothers Day Quince Liqueur Release

We'll be open Mothers Day. but we'll be next door moving things around in Unit C to get ready for our June 6 open house. Yesterday we bottled the first of a new batch of Quince Liqueur, just in time for Mothers everywhere.

We also have been cutting Rhubarb-  at last week's chop party and all through the week-  about 400 pounds from Troutdale.