McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt

McCarthysOne of my long time White Whales is a bottle of McCarthy’s.  This is partly from the small size of their yearly release and partly from laziness.  I know exactly when they release every year and I’m on their mailing list.  I can just never seem to get to a store in time to pick up a bottle before they’ve all been snapped up.

Color me surprised when I stumbled into my favorite liquor store on SW 1st and Lincoln and found a bottle innocently sitting on top of a barrel.  This was the 2014 release and it was at least six months since it had come out which made it incredibly unlikely that a bottle had mysteriously appeared.

McCarthy’s is one of the few Single Malts being produced in Oregon.  This is likely because grain to bottle whiskey is incredibly hard to do well and more than a few distillers have failed trying to do even a basic whiskey.  Single Malt, if done in the Scottish tradition, is aged in oak for three years.  That means my little bottle was started in 2011 at the very least.  McCarthy’s was one of the first craft single malts in the US and has been hailed by numerous whiskey books, magazines and authors and has been hailed as one of the world’s elite whiskeys.

Produced by Clear Creek Distilling this whiskey is done in the Islay tradition from 100% peat-malted barley.  It is smokey and clear with a light finish.  My fellow drinker the HopBoxer tasted only smoke but he’s an Irish drinker and not inclined to peat.

This is a bottle that will run you about $55 in Oregon, their next release should be spring of 2015 so keep your eyes open.

Devil's Bit

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I picked up this little beauty on st Patrick’s day this year.  Devils bit is a small batch whiskey made by mcmenamins edgefield distillery.  I don’t know how long they age it but they only release a couple of hundred bottles every year.  I made it out to the Cornelius pass roadhouse at around noon the day of the release and they had only 29 bottles left out of their 100 allotment.  For such a small pint it is a fantastic Irish whiskey.  I definitely plan to grab another two bottles next year.

Update: I did get my bottles for 2014, My good friend Evan made the run out to CPR to pick them up.  I haven’t cracked them yet but they look a lot darker.