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The Oregon Trail Leads To Bourbon, Ransom Bourbon

The Great Oregon Wine Co & Distillery recently announced the release of Ransom Bourbon, its newest expression to add to their stable of handcrafted whiskeys and gin.

It originates from their organic farm and distillery in the foothills of the Coastal Mountain Range in Sheridan, Oregon.

The first batch of Ransom Bourbon was blended from bourbons distilled in Oregon and Indiana, aged a minimum of two years in charred American oak, including 12-year-old barrels from Ransom’s French alembic pot stills, and made up of a four-grain mash bill: 66% Corn, 23% Rye, 6% Wheat, 4% Malted Barley.

Ransom Bourbon
Ransom Bourbon (image via Great Oregon Wine Co & Distillery)

The whiskey-maker said the ultimate goal is to transition to 100-percent distilled in Oregon once enough stock is produced over the coming years.

The distiller’s notes for the new Ransom Bourbon show aromas of toffee and caramel, mixed with sweet corn. The palate has a soft oak influence and cereal grain, with hints of cocoa powder, anise, and a honey mouth feel. The notes show the bourbon’s finish to have a long, spicy rye warmth with orange zest that gives way to a final touch of malt.

The new bourbon clocks in at 88 proof.

“This bourbon is truly a labor of love and I’m really excited to bring a new Oregon bourbon to the whiskey scene,” said Master Distiller Matt Cechovic in a prepared statement.

In the green foothills of Oregon, Ransom distills their spirits in a hand hammered, direct-fired French alembic pot still. They make what they say is all of the selective cuts by taste and smell. They select premium ingredients, mill the grain, work and ferment the mash, and make the important cuts at the condenser. Each barrel is hand selected for aromatic intensity, flavor, and body.

Ransom Wines & Spirits was founded by Tad Seestedt in 1997, when he revived and distilled the 19th-century-era ‘Old Tom’ Gin (aged in barrel). In the process, Seestedt explained, he maxed out his credit cards to fund his passion. With the bank “holding him ransom to pay back his debt,” Seestedt thought the name Ransom was appropriate for his continued pursuit.

Tad retired in 2020, entrusting his vision for Ransom to the Great Oregon Wine Co & Distillery in Dundee, Oregon.

For more information on the Great Oregon Wine Company & Distillery and Ransom, check out and

Gary Carter

Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether that be a novel project, a start-up, an organization, a fresh-face to the journalistic world, or even something as simple as a short story. A native Texan and a Pacific Northwest convert, he is a whiskey enthusiast who cut his teeth on it ... literally!

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