Portland’s Freeland Spirits Debuts Bourbon Finished In Pinot Barrels

| December 24, 2018

Freeland Spirits has released its first bourbon, a pinot noir-finished expression that debuted at the young distillery’s northwest Portland tasting room in late November.

It’s a blend of 3- and 12-year-old bourbons—sourced, as Freeland opened its doors in 2017—finished in Elk Cove Winery pinot noir barrels and bottled at 92 proof. The mash bill is 70% corn, 20% rye, and 10% malt.

Freeland is a female-owned and -operated company named for founder Jill Kuehler’s grandmother, who she calls Meemaw Freeland—and who was, ironically, a teetotaller. Kuehler’s background is in nonprofit management and agriculture; her last gig was as the director of Portland’s nonprofit Zenger Farm. Together with biochemist-turned-distiller Molly Troupe, she launched Freeland gin, a house-distilled spirit, in December 2017. This bourbon is the distillery’s second spirit.

Freeland Spirits Bourbon

Freeland Spirits Bourbon (image via Freeland Spirits)

“We are thrilled to expand our line with this beautiful Bourbon,” said Kuehler in a   statement. “When we started Freeland Spirits last year, we were excited about creating a full range of really exquisite, hand-crafted spirits, and when we tapped our friends at Elk Cove Winery for Pinot Noir barrels, we knew Freeland Spirits Bourbon would be unlike any other Bourbon on the market. We can’t wait for people to taste it!”

The tasting notes for the bourbon are below:

  • Taste: Rounded and smooth, soft caramel and baked berries layered with vanilla bean, cocoa and spice
  • Aroma: Toffee, marmalade, smoked pecan and clove
  • Color: Rich mahogany

The initial run was 800 bottles, available in Oregon, Washington, and California for a suggested price of $48.95 in an attractive teardrop-shaped bottle.

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Katelyn Best

Katelyn is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon. She's a regular contributor to the Whiskey Wash with an affinity for the unique and weird side of whiskey.