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Cadée Distillery In Washington Is Run By A Scot

Washington State, by most accounts, is one of the leading states when it comes to domestic craft whiskey distilleries. Westland, Dry Fly and Woodinville Whiskey Co. are the best known of these, but there are also a number of smaller players worth taking note of as well. One of the latest of these is little Cadée Distillery on Whidbey Island, or rather I should call it the Isle of Whidbey, as this outfit is run by one Colin Campbell, a distilling Scotsman.

Cadee Distillery
Because we all have a little Braveheart in us (image via Cadee Distillery)

Campbell, according to the Cadée Distillery website, has quite the interesting history around distilling. In his words,

Colin was enchanted by the alchemy of spirits at an early age with his first dram in the Laphroig Distillery in Scotland. After receiving the internationally recognized gold-standard Master Distiller qualification from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in London. Colin went on to distilling spirits in the Middle East, crafting delicious and unique flavors. Now he has created a local distillery on The Isle of Whidbey where he lives with his family. Whidbey Island offers miles of Salish Sea coastline with salty ocean breezes, and a bounty of natural resources similar to Scotland.

Now, given his background, you would think Campbell would be doing single malts. Such seems not to be the case out of the gate right now, however, as he is currently on the market with a mix of bourbon and rye whiskies (see below for future plans). They are quasi-sourced in that he got the raw distillate for the first batches from “different partners throughout the US,” based upon information provided to me upon request. The mash bills of these whiskies were created “over the last several years using age-old family and commercially available recipes with a twist” before being brought to Whidbey for aging.

It is in the aging where Cadée seems to be a bit all over the place, in a good way, in that he is making use of barrels from Kentucky, Portugal, Spain and the Caribbean. Campbell monitors the flavor profiles of his aging whiskey and blends them when ready, resulting in the current four bottlings which are out at market now:

  • Bourbon Whiskey: 42% ABV; aged in new, charred American oak barrels for a minimum of eight months; around $44 USD.
  • Rye Whiskey: 42% ABV; aged in new, charred American oak barrels for a minimum of eight months; around $44 USD.
  • Cascadia Rye: 43.5% ABV; first matured in new American Oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months, then double barrel finished in French oak casks previously used for maturing rich, 20 year old Port in Portugal; around $53 USD.
  • Deceptivus Bourbon: 42.5% ABV; first matured as bourbon whiskey in new American Oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months, then double barrel finished in imported, first poured, 20 year old age-soaked Port barrels imported from Portugal; around $49 USD.

As for future whiskies, Campbell told me in an email that he is currently building a new facility on Whidbey to do their own in house distilling and that a Washington single malt whiskey is in the works that’s “made by a Scotsman on the Isle of Whidbey.” That should be interesting. In the meanwhile, to learn a little more about Cadée and its Scottish distiller, check out the crowdfunding video below he recently had produced.

Introducing Cadée Distillery from Cadée Distillery on Vimeo.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the former founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award-winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y globally. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert, and judge, he has written extensively about the subject, been interviewed in various media outlets, and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions.

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