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McMenamins, For First Time Ever, Debuts Two Variants Of Devils Bit Whiskey

Devils Bit WhiskeyAs has been the case here at The Whiskey Wash the last three years running, and once again just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, I bring you news of the annual release of Oregon-based McMenamins Devils Bit Whiskey. Usually just a single style expression brought forth from this Northwest brewpub chain’s Edgefield Distillery, this time around we have a new twist: the standard Edgedfield offering, and also a wine-cask finished variant from Edgefield sister property Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Distillery!

For those not familiar with McMenamins, or Devils Bit Whiskey, a bit of info on both first. McMenamins was founded in Oregon in 1983 by brothers Mike and Brian McMenamin, and today encompasses 54 neighborhood pubs, breweries, distilleries, a winery, historic hotel properties and movie theaters throughout Oregon and Washington. The two Oregon-based distilleries in question, Edgefield and Cornelius Pass Roadhouse, opened in 1998 and 2012, respectively.

The whiskey, meanwhile, has been an ongoing annual release from just the Edgefield facility for some years now. The legend behind it is, as the Irish tale goes, that the devil took a bite from a mountain in North Tipperary, Ireland, and spit it out. The bite-sized gap became its defining characteristic and local townspeople named the mountain Devil’s Bit.

Here are the specifics on both Devils Bit offerings from McMenamins as provided to us:

Edgefield Distillery Devils Bit 

46% ABV, 92 proof 812 bottles produced 

The 2017 edition of our Devils Bit Whiskey was distilled from our “Ananda” recipe. In Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, Ananda means ‘an extreme happiness, one of the highest states of being.’ As a white (or clear) spirit, the “Ananda” recipe produces roasty, malty flavors with a strong dark chocolate note. This leads to great results for long-term aging, so we put aside the first barrel of this recipe in 2009 and now it’s time for this special whiskey to see the light of day.

Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Distillery Devils Bit 

48.5% ABV, 97 proof 

1,025 bottles produced 

Based on Philosopher’s Stone, a favorite beer recipe from CPR’s long and colorful past, this version of Devils Bit is made with four different types of malt that give it a bold and complex grain profile. Four years in a new charred American oak barrel allowed these flavors to mellow and mature before it was finished in a Zinfandel port barrel from the Edgefield Winery, adding finesse and layers of berry and stone fruit nuance.

Plans call for bottles in 200 ml size to price around $23 each. There is a two bottle maximum purchase, though it was not immediately clear as we went to press if this was in total, or two for each different expression. Whatever the case, both Devils Bit whiskeys will be available in a large number of their gift shops on St. Patrick’s Day while supplies last.

About the author

Nino Marchetti

As the founder of The Whiskey Wash, I'm crazy about whiskey, I can tell you, and I aim to share this passion with you through this site. As for my professional background, I’m a writer and journalist by trade and an Internet dot-com veteran prior to that. My most recent venture prior to this was as the founder and editor-in-chief of EarthTechling, a leading consumer focused green technology news website. I also have an extensive collection of whiskies from both start up distilleries and centuries old operations in Scotland alike, sprinkled with some other odds and ends from around the world, that have provided me with a unique picture of what’s going on with this wonderful spirit.