American By Nino Marchetti / March 13, 2020 The Pacific Northwest brewpub chain that is McMenamins throws one hell of a St. Patrick’s Day party across its wide swath of locations each year. While often what you take home from it are a full belly and some good memories, one physical reminder that can carry on long after this celebration is the annual Devils Bit Whiskey release. While it used to be one bottling from just one distillery – their Edgefield location – in recent years it has gone up to two courtesy of the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse facility as well. For 2020 general information on each bottling is as follows, according to McMenamins. In summary, it is $24 per 200 ml bottle, with a two bottle purchase limit. Where across the McMenamins locations you can find it for sale is listed at their website, and as an insider tip it is generally better to get there earlier as some locations tend to sell out shortly after they open. Devils Bit Whiskey | Cornelius Pass Roadhouse (43.5% alcohol by volume, 87 proof) This year this distillery is releasing a special barrel of our Billy Whiskey. It aged this whiskey twice as long as usual – 8 years – in an Oregon Oak barrel to create Devils Bit, having filled this barrel way back in January 2012. Oregon Oak is different from traditional whiskey barrels and they thought it deserved to be celebrated. This whiskey is medium to full bodied with a long woody, almost-smoky finish and complex, assertive oak flavors. On the nose you get hints of toasted marshmallow, toffee, light coco, sweet wood smoke, fruitcake, and dried cherry. The palate is bold and coats your mouth nicely while oak flavors are slightly drier and spicier on the tongue with smoky wood being prominent. This whiskey will remind you of toasting s’mores around a campfire in the Oregon Coast Range. The 2020 Devils Bit whiskey from Edgefield (image via McMenamins) Devils Bit Whiskey | Edgefield (46% alcohol by volume, 92 proof) From the Edgefield Distillery comes a very special offering to the Devil’s Bit Whiskey label. This year’s Bit is a rye whiskey aged 7 years in a heavily charred, American white oak barrel. The base of the whiskey is 70% rye and 30% malted barley to ensure the strong spicy character of the rye is at the forefront. Black raspberries, vanilla and caramel and cardamom are the dominant notes on the aroma. The palate is warm and easy with a long, gentle finish. A wave of buttery toffee comes through, followed by pepper spice and deep woody tones, but it’s never hot and biting.