Happy New Year!!!!

We are open til 3 today for some rhubarb or quince to spruce up that midnight champagne toast.

Grapefruit/Lime Bitters

  • Lemon Grass, about 2 inches chopped
  • Basil Leaves- 4 or 5, well-slapped
  • Peel of one organic grapefruit, slivered
  • Grated zest of 4 organic limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon gentian root
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered coriander
  • 1 teaspoon grains of paradise, crushed
  • 400 ml high proof spirits (I used our Stonebarn unsweetened Ouzo)

          Force everything into a bottle and let soak for a week.
          Shake daily.  Strain.

Adapted from Seasonal Cocktail Companion by Maggie Savarino

            The drink we made at Cocktails Demystyfied:

Cranberry Sour

Equal parts:
  • Cranberry Liqueur
  • Unoaked Rye Whiskey
  • Lime Juice
  • Simple syrup (should be reduced to taste)
  • 3 dashes bitters (see above)
         Shake with ice, serve up.
         Garnish with mint leaf, add sparkle with ginger beer

Nocino now available at our tasting room!

Nocino is the key ingredient in several wonderful seasonal cocktails. At Gruener, I had a meal that combined two of my favorite things 1: Duck and 2: Schnitzel.  So with my Duck Schnitzel, I enjoyed a delightful cocktail named Hangman's Nuesse.  A modified Manhattan in which the spirit mix is enhanced with a spot of Nocino.  

The recipe, courtesy of bartendress Jessica Braasch, is:

   1.5 oz Elijah Craig bourbon
   .75 oz Cocchi Americano
   .5 oz Nocino
   dash citron tincture

Stir, and serve on the rocks with a lemon twist. 

A similar drink was published in the May 2014 issue of Saveur magazine Here a link to the article:  http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/the-riccioni-nocino-manhattan-cocktail

This year's green walnuts came from a variety of sources- Reed College campus, Ogden Street, Tremont Evangelical Church (with permission), and Parrot Mountain.  They soaked in our rye whiskey with spices and aged brandy until we bottled the Nocino at the end of November.

The quince is as hard to cut as ever but the liqueur is worth it!

   Come in for a taste of newly bottled quince...............

Whiskey News November 2014

We're doing a few things on the whiskey front-  Hoppin' Eight Barrel 12 just sold out-  so we released Barrel 13! .  Its a 2.5 year old Rye with  wheat and pilsner malt.  We'll be bottling in two batches,  about 150 bottles total.  There's another barrel of the Pilsner rye just after this one, but perhaps we'll give it another year.....

Andy Garrison is working on a few special projects-  He's taken a two year old Rye from our stock, and is finishing it in a grizzled bourbon barrel filled with the fruity remains of Hair of the Dog's Cherry Adam.  We're expecting the dark cherry to add a special touch to the rye.  Hoping for a Christmas release in 375 ml shorty bottles, but it depends on the TTB approval of our label.

Tasting room offers more hours as we are almost constantly there-  working fruit this fall season and bottling for our new distribution in the State of Washington thanks to King Beverage.  Call Erika to see if we are there (503) 341-2227.

8/24 update: Construction- Getting to Stone Barn

Image result for construction sign graphic

Do not be deterred by all the construction happening in our neck of the woods!  The city is repaving Lafayette Street, which is incredibly potholed. So ultimately it will be a good thing.  But for now it is a pain!

You must approach heading east on Powell, and make a right on SE 20th, before the light at 21st. Then make the next right which is Pershing, and go down one block and Voila!  Stone Barn.

The construction should be done (they say) by this Friday, August 28th.

Release party for Cherry Adam Rye at North Light Sunday, January 11th from 7 to 9 pm!

Please join us at North Light   Sunday evening.  This Mississippi venue is hosting a party for the Cherry Adam! Complimentary and delicious small bites from their kitchen will be offered and samples of the whiskey will be poured. The bar will feature "Cherry on the Wing", a cocktail created by manager Emily Czarnecki, an intriguing blend of the Rye Adam, vermouth, coffee liqueur (our Red Wing) and orange bitters. Bottles of the Straight Rye will be available for purchase.

3746 North Mississippi, Portland, 97227.  There is no entrance fee, but please RSVP to Emily at emily@northlightpdx.com.

Eastside Ouzo is available!

A few years ago a bartender from Zaytinya, a Greek restaurant in Washington, D.C.  sampled our Eastside Ouzo and straight away purchased all the bottles we had left.  When we visited him later, we were treated to a smashing drink and fantastic small plates.  Over cocktails, he wondered how the ouzo would be if it were barrel aged.

It has been on our mind.  Last year we put away a small barrel and just broke into it.  Great idea, he was right! Please come by Stone Barn to try this 80 proof anise-rich spirit.  The ouzo is made from Hip Chicks do Wine pinot gris pomace and has aged in a 30 liter French oak barrel for one year.

Stone Barn is excited to participate in the upcoming  Brewstillery Festival hosted by Stormbreaker Brewing!! On Saturday, February 28th from 12 pm- 10 pm  we will join eleven other local distilleries and 18 local breweries to offer attendees intriguing couplets of beer and spirits. Some brewers created beers for a specific spirit, and there was also cross pollination regarding use of each other's barrels and trial of unorthodox aging strategies.

We are lucky to partner with both The Commons Brewery and Hair of the Dog, and to have the opportunity to showcase the versatility of our products in the company of such excellent beer. Our Andy Garrison ran with this project, subjecting himself to needed alcoholic experimentation.

We will pair our Quince Liqueur with The Commons Brewery's Citrus Myrtle - the tangy floral flavor of the quince complements the Meridian hopped, tart farmhouse ale finish replete with Buddha's Hand and Hatian orange peel.

Our pairing with Hair of the Dog was fated- Hair's Cherry Adam from the Wood and our Straight Rye Cherry Adam- our 100% stoneground organic dark aged rye, aged two years in new oak, and finished in the Cherry Adam barrel, This treatment allowed our rye to gain a complexity from the barrel's former tenant, a strong ale aged with locally grown black cherries which in turn absorbed some qualities from the barrel's original use as a bourbon cask.

For more details about the event, and to purchase tickets please visit Brewstillery Festival.

StormBreaker Brewing Beer & Spirits

Robadas, sliced so perfectly by Rich at our summer Chop Party, have the best flavor of all the apricot varieties we have tried.  A newly made batch of  Biggs Junction Apricot Liqueur is now available for sampling and purchase at our tasting room.

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.

Perhaps Pink

1 oz Rhubarb Liqueur
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (cardamon is good)
1/4 oz lemon juice

Shake over ice.  Strain and top with grapefruit soda, we like to use the Pelligrino Pomelo.  Garnish with candied rhubarb slice if you feel like fussing, or a curl of lemon peel.

Stone Barn Pear Wins Silver Medal!

The American Distilling Institute's Craft Spirit Competition winners have been announced, we were awarded a silver medal for  our Bartlett Pear for "Best in Category for Pear Eau de Vie".

More and more barrels.....

We've been working on some new small batch whiskies- a chocolate rye, an extra special malt, more rye, more oat and a project underway with Commons Brewery. The current release is Barrel 11, a 100% Oat Whiskey, aged 2 years in a medium-toast Michigan white oak barrel.  We've filled the barrel again with apple brandy (Rome, Gala, and Sonata), almost 7,000 pounds of apples to fill the 30 gallon barrel at 125 proof.

Photographer Jordan Burgess came in and took some great photos recently for an photo essay he published for Portland Made. Check out the site for a few additional photos or surf around the Portland Made pages to investigate other Portland start-up industries.

We joined Portland Made last fall-  it is a collective of local designers, makers and manufacturers, similar to the idea behind Producers Portland which we formed with Leah and Avery of Make It Good some years ago.  

A winter road to Rome

A short travelogue of a winter trip to EZ Orchards in the Salem area.

Traveled 99E through a landscape recently soaked by days of rain.  The Willamette was surging through the falls at Oregon City.   I stopped for a view, but the large brown foaming river didn't lend itself to a beauty shot with my I-phone.

Not so the country south of  Canby and Hubbard.

At EZ Orchard, I met Kevin and his father Steven and we discussed renovation of Mercedes (Steven's passion) and the changes in taste of the fruit-buying public.  The Rome apples have fallen in disfavor, trends now more towards crisp and sweet apples.  For me, the uneven sizes, the deep red color of the skin, and the aroma of bins even cold is alluring.  Reminds me of the apples on our winter porch each year, purchased by the travelling apple salesman who traveled from New Hampshire door-to -door through New England.

Kevin and I took a stroll through the soggy orchard to admire the statuesque pear trees in his extensive orchard.  These gnarled guys contributed to what is one of our best vintages of brandy.

The Rome apples are now crushed and quietly fermenting back in Portland, just under 2,000 pounds.  Once distilled in March, we anticipate blending them with Sonata from Hood River and some of EZ's Jonathan from the previous year, and barreling them up in oak to deepen their flavor and hold the recollections of Oregon winter.  

Iced Coffee anyone?

We walked down to open this Friday- sledding part of the way down Henry Street.  There was a fire, a box of handwarmers, and half the neighborhood sliding and inner-tubing down the street as they have for 50 years.  Once at the bottom, we traveled through Reed College, looking at the transformation of Crystal Springs.

We were visited by some hardy folks from Gold Beach and another couple from Central Brewing in Surrey BC. The still was full of an aromatic "Extra Special" whiskey mash of Andy's formulation - barley, wheat, and an ESB malt. Three batches are already in the barrel and it smells wonderful.

Our sign was quickly covered with snow and we dreamed of Iced Coffee.

Open Friday's and Saturdays through March.  Call ahead if you think the weather is too difficult.  Wasn't on Friday.