I visited many distilleries in America’s Pacific North West on this wee world distillery tour of mine. Everyone has been so incredibly welcoming and helpful at each distillery, giving fantastic tours and I have been to some amazing tastings. One of the many amazing distilleries I visited in Seattle, run by some incredibly creative distillers was OOLA Distillery. OOLA is nestled in the outskirts of the inner city area, and is running one tight operation producing a wide range of different spirits. Among which are 3 different gins, 4 different vodkas, 1 whisky and 2 blended whiskies. Of course I am only really interested in the white spirits, and in particular the GINS! As I mentioned before, OOLA produces 3 different gins:
· OOLA gin
· ALOO gin
· Barrel finished OOLA gin
House Spirits Distillery in Portland, with their Aviator Gin, reintroduced the world to the delicate characteristics of American Style gins. OOLA gin is exactly that, an American style gin, with an incredibly well balanced range of botanicals. One of which in particular caught my eye, is this funny brown shrivelled nutmeg looking thing that I had never seen before. It smelt smokey, spicy and nutty all at once, and is (I am told) Brown Cardamon. (Looks nothing like the small potent green cardamon I am used to seeing in Australia, and was quite shocked to hear that it’s a type of cardamon)
OOLA gin is a smooth, well balanced sipping gin that has distinct floral notes with a warm nutty finish. The ALOO gin, is quite the opposite of the OOLA gin (both in name and in flavour profile). ALOO is a classic, strong and punchy London Dry style gin, which tastes as though it were designed perfectly for a G&T, with a hearty Juniper and Coriander nose. Lastly, the barrel finished OOLA gin (barrel aged gins are a favourite gin style of mine at the moment) is just the OOLA gin, aged for ~3 months in barrels, which gives the delicate OOLA gin a distinct smooth and creamy vanilla taste.
All in all, OOLA is a remarkable distillery and I feel very privileged to have been able to visit while I was in Seattle. I most certainly will be on the hunt for all their products now that I am back in Melbourne, because they truly are something special.