Review: Burnside Bourbon

burnsidebottle_glass2

One of the most surprising products to come out of any of the local distilleries has been Burnside Bourbon.  There are a number of whiskeys both aged and unaged.  Everything from pendleton to hogshead to white dog has made an appearance.  Many of them are new and still finding their feet, several are well on their way even if you can’t find a bottle to save your soul.

Burnside Bourbon comes from Eastside Distilling, in my opinion the one with the best location in town.  They are right next door to the pacific pie company which means good booze and good pie within stumbling distance of each other.

Aside from a bevy of fine rums Eastside has also produced some of the best holiday liqueurs and the Bourbon which I present to you tonight.  There are actually two Bourbons here, the normal Burnside and the Burnside Double Barrel.

Burnside on its own is a fantastic product, and I say that as someone who is not a huge fan of whiskey in general.  As noted in my drink review of the manhattan this stuff is smooth and complex enough to obviate the need for a lot of complicated mixers.  A quality product needs no footmen to bring it around but an excellent product can sing with the choir and not outshine the rest of the group.   This, I think, is Burnside’s real strength.  Having mixed it into a few other cocktails it seems to shine on every occasion bringing smoky notes and complex flavor to the event and never trying to bury the rest of the drink.  What makes this particularly amazing is that Burnside is a slightly higher proof than some others on the market so even with the extra alcohol the product isn’t a kick in the teeth.

I picked up a bottle of Burnside at the pathetic liquor store up the street from my house which means it should be kicking around almost anywhere else in portland.  About $30 should see you into a bottle.  Not cheap but not on the high end either.

Now about that Double Barrel.  If you have the money to drop for it I strongly advise it.  It’s a small batch spirit which means you won’t find it in any of the other stores in town.  You have to visit the tasting room to get some but it is worth the trip and the money.  At much closer to $55 a bottle the extra 60 days in the Oregon white oak puts a spit and polish on this spirit like you won’t believe.  I’m getting another bottle as soon as I can but it’s going into the back of the cabinet away from prying eyes and grubby mitts.