Portland Distillery Trip 1!

My wine tasting buddy JT has a birthday this month; Happy Birthday! For her birthday she decided she wanted to go to Portland and go Distillery Hopping; here is a link to the map route we did. I was up for this! I’ve actually wanted to do this for awhile but hadn’t gotten to it yet. So usually when we go out it’s just the two of us. But given that we were after hard liquor this time I suggest we take the Boys with us and just split the cost of a babysitter for our Littles. The Boys were amazing and agreed to this and trailed after us and with us as we jumped from place to plac. When we dropped Miss Go Go off she got cranky but the sitter said she calmed down nicely after we left. We drove my car up with Hubby driving and had a great time and some amazing, good, and never again places.

Aria Gin's MenuAria Gin

Aria does one and only one type of liquor, Gin. And it is so drinkable! With them just doing Gin they have a great
tasting set up. Instead of pouring you just one shot and calling it quits they have a mini bar menu featuring the tradition Gin drinks; with a Portland twist of course. My experience with Gin is just the big name brands that you have to mix with to drink. Aria though, is so drinkable! It’s smooth and the juniper is well balanced in it. They also use mixers from a few Portland locations in their drinks and have them for sale also. Ryan was pouring for us and was just fun to talk with! I highly recommend this Gin!!

Bull Run
Smoked Vanilla This is a fun little place. It’s just a couple blocks, easy walking, from Aria so we hit since the car was safely parked. The ladies pouring were fun to talk with and knew how to serve what they had other than just pouring shots. This is the first place that I have ever tasted Aquavit at. This location was heavy in the Anise so it had the black licorice flavor over the top up front but a really strong coriander finish; so strong it reminded of curry. They also have some good Bourbons! If I hadn’t just bought a bottle of Makers Mark for a recipe I was doing, I would have bought a bottle. JT also liked the Bourbon and actually bought a bottle of that and Chianti Finished Bourbon. They have an American Whiskey that would be perfect in Eggnog! I recommend you go here if you are going to Aria and vice versa! We also found this great mixed! It’s called Smoked Tea Vanilla and it’s amazing! I’ll eventually get a bottle to play with but can’t wait till I do!!

For the rest of the trip we tracked back across the river to the East Side of Portland. There are several other locations on the West Side that we will just have to go back to.

Vinn Distillery
This made the list for 2 facts 1) It’s a distillery and 2) It is ALL rice based! Neither JT or I had ever had Rice based alcohol so we were both intrigued by the idea. Sadly, the only good thing we found there was another pair of ladies that chatted with us about the liquors and recommended another location to go try. It was fun to try the Baijiu as it is an authentic Chinese drink but it’s one you take like shots and that’s the only way to drink it. The Blackberry Liquor is so sweet that it would have to be a mixer to make it drinkable. It’s also very Hippy. Granted it is in Portland but still, there is only so much Hippy one can take in single location.

House Spirits Menu


House Spirits
The ladies at Vinn sent us here so we went; it’s also just a short distance away. They have a really nice tasting room with even outdoor seating. They also have an Aquavit but again it was just not balanced well. I also wasn’t impressed with the pouring team. It might just be me and my years in Customer Service that makes me so nit picky, but treat everyone the same and be pleasant or at least match the people you are interacting with; evn if you have to fake it a little! This team was Hippy Goth Metal and wouldn’t let me write on or take a copy of the tasting menu 😦 Both JT and I left without buying anything.


Rolling River
I loved this place! The tasting bar is right there as part of the distillery process and the gentleman pouring was actually one of the owners so he knew all the backstory and could speak the liquors. He was also fun and down to earth. They also do an Aquavit and it was the best we tried all day! They didn’t add any Anise to theirs so it was very drinkable and was well balanced. He also has a Habanero Vodka! They take all the spice out of it so you actually just get the taste of the Habanero without the heat. It would be a great Vodka for the Bloody Mary or even split it with some Pepper Vodka!

Thomas and Sons
They make all their sprits from Tea Leaves. Both JT and I love tea, so were excited to go try this place. The best I can say is that we went. I cannot find one good thing to say about this place. Sorry Peeps 😦

Since we had managed to finish our Portland list and was going to pace through Tigard we hit one more location while they were still open.

Indio Spirits
It was a great last stop for the day! The lady pouring, can’t remember her name, was fun and did a great job working the 4 groups that she had going. They also let you pick what you want to taste out of all the things they offer! JT did the Whiskey flight and enjoyed them all, but bought the Rye as it was her favorite. I did a little bit of all of them. I really liked their Lemongrass Lime vodka. Very drinkable without having to be a base for something cocktail. It would also be fun to play with it in a Vodka Mojito. They also have a nice Spiced Rum that is well balanced. I really recommend them if you are in the area!Distillery Passport

We totally enjoyed ourselves and the Boys had fun talking and hanging out together. The Littles enjoyed their evening together and the babysitter didn’t look to ragged when we got back to her. Oh, and get the Passport; or Here! At participating locations they wave the tasting fees if you have the passport and it comes with a $5 gift card.



About Tara B.
Hi, I am Tara B. and its great to meet you!! I am an outgoing person with introvert tendencies. I have two amazing dogs that I love and adore! You will hear about them and their adventures a lot :D I also have the most amazing husband! Together he and I have Miss Go Go (you'll also see her referred to as Baby B) that was born in the spring of 2015. She is smart, quick learner, and loves to mimic everything she sees. I love to cook, bake, try to stay healthy, and read. I love to explore my area (and the world when life allows), and seek out fun things to do. You want more information just ask! I am horrible at writing "About You" sections...:) If you have any questions, comments, ect I can be reached at CraftsByTaraB@gmail.com.

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