Thinking Tree Spirits
A young Oregon distillery focused on sustainability
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)