Think­ing Tree Spir­its

A young Ore­gon dis­tillery fo­cused on sus­tain­abil­ity

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The Think­ing Tree is a young and promis­ing Ore­gon craft dis­tillery lo­cated in Eu­gene close to the fa­mous Her­itage Dis­tillery. It was founded by Bryan and Emily Jensen and Kay­lon McAlis­ter. They dis­till only « high qual­ity spir­its » from lo­cally grown grain, botan­i­cals, herbs and fruits.

« Our doors opened for busi­ness dur­ing win­ter sol­stice of 2016, shortly be­fore Christ­mas. Al­though the cre­ation of this dis­tillery took a few years. Upon leas­ing the build­ing we dove into the deep wa­ters of the li­cen­sure process on a fed­eral, state and lo­cal level. In the mean­time we spent a year ren­o­vat­ing our 100 year old build­ing, re­fur­bish­ing and re­pur­pos­ing as much ma­te­rial as pos­si­ble. We built our stills from mid­cen­tury farm and dairy equip­ment we sal­vaged from scrap yards and hand ham­mered the cop­per dome and onion on our pot still. We plumbed and en­gi­neered the en­tire process our­selves us­ing a close loop heat­ing and cool­ing re­cov­ery sys­tem out­fit­ted with 2000 length feet of pex tub­ing filled with gly­col that is laid in our floors to ra­di­ate heat in our tast­ing room and dis­tillery. We re­cy­cle enough wa­ter and waste heat that our en­ergy bills are lower than the av­er­age Eu­gene house­hold. »

How many dif­fer­ent spir­its do you pro­duce? and the to­tal quan­tity?

We pro­duce Vodka, Gin and Rum. Soon we will be re­leas­ing small batch of Brandy, Ab­sinthe, Pisco, Bour­bon and Whiskey.

What can you say about your Gin ?

Our Gin is an English style North West gin. Our gin is flo­ral and com­plex but in­cred­i­bly ap­proach­able and smooth. We use a com­bi­na­tion of 13 dif­fer­ent botan­i­cals in our recipe, in­clud­ing grains of par­adise, grape­fruit peel, pink pep­per­corn, rose and co­rian­der to name a few. We dis­till it us­ing tra­di­tional gin bas­kets and fin­ish it with a cu­cum­ber/lemon grass soak.

Our Vodka and Gin are dis­tilled from 100% Wil­lamette Val­ley sweet red wheat that we ac­quire from a lo­cal farm 25

min­utes from our dis­tillery.

What is your sig­na­ture ? I mean what al­lows us to rec­og­nize your pro­duc­tion in blind tast­ing con­di­tions ? The Ge­nius Gin has a com­plex flo­ral bou­quet, cu­cum­ber for­ward. The Main Stage Vodka has a round vanilla mouth­feel cre­ated by the sweet red Wil­lamette Val­ley wheat we dis­till it from.

The Whiteaker Rum at this point tastes of caramel.Young rum for sure but caramel.

Where does the name come from ?

The name is a cel­e­bra­tion of the Pa­cific North­west free­dom. I mean singing un­der trees, en­joy­ing life, mu­sic, food and our great re­gion.

If you have to de­scribe your pas­sion for spir­its mak­ing in 3 words?

I would say : Bi­ol­ogy, Love and Alchemy.

Do you have a short anec­dote about your dis­tillery ? In ev­ery pour, we are proud to share with you the lush bounty of Ore­gon. Our mis­sion is to in­spire and fa­cil­i­tate our com­mu­nity to thrive us­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able meth­ods.

(Thank you to Emily Jensen, Owner)

© Think­ing Tree

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