Last Updated on November 17, 2023 by Leah Hall
Come along on our visit to Trail Distilling in Oregon City, Oregon!
On our recent trip out to Portland, Oregon, we had been posting places that we visited on our socials. Sara, one of the owners of Trail Distilling contacted us and invited us south for a tour and tasting before we hopped back on a plane to go home! Of course we want to!
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Trail Distilling is the first distillery in the First City west of the Mississippi river since Prohibition ended. That city is Oregon City, Oregon. Trail Distilling is both veteran and woman owned, as well as winning women distiller awards, it is a must stop if you are in the Portland area. Along with the distillery, they have a tasting room and event space.
Trail Distilling has made itself a must visit destination in the Mt. Hood area. You can see it from the parking lot of the distillery. (Not the day we visited though, darn clouds!)
The craft distillery movement is alive and well in Oregon, and Oregon City is a great location to have one. Most locals like to know where their veggies and fruit are grown, grains, and now spirits. Trail Distilling is a certified farm distiller which means that they grow their own rye for the rye whiskey just 20 miles away. Look at that view!
Tour of Trail Distilling
We started the distillery tour in their beautiful tasting room which featured a vintage motorcycle, as well as a vintage truck. In this space they also have small barrels on racks. These barrels are for their Barrel Club.
By being a Barrel Club Member you can own your very own custom whiskey, gin or rum aged in a 5 gallon new white oak charred barrel. Can be a great gift, or perfect to celebrate graduations, anniversaries, homecomings, or weddings. You get to decide when your barrel is ready to bottle and enjoy. Some Barrel Club benefits are: to visit and sample when you want to, a private bottling and labeling party, 24 bottles and keep the barrel.
We then got to see their stills and some of the ingredients for their products, and then started our tasting. Finally, we tried all their spirits and got to take home a couple of our favorites. The First City Whiskey and the Trillium Pink Pinot Gin. Both were lovely, and we have more info about them below!
Oregon City, Oregon
Oregon City is on the Willamette River south of Portland. In 1844, it became the first city west of the Mississippi to be incorporated.
Oregon City also played a role in the early history of Oregon . It was established by Hudson Bay Company Dr. John McLoughlin in 1829. Oregon City is near where the Clackamas River meets with the Willamette and they wanted to use this power to run a lumber mill. During the 1840s and 1850s it was the last stop to file land claims after traveling the Oregon Trail. This is how Oregon City became known as the End of the Oregon Trail.
From 1848 until 1851, it also was the capital of Oregon Territory. Oregon City is a city of firsts: the world’s first electric power grid, first Protestant church west of the Rockies, first navigation locks in the Northwest, first paper mill in Oregon County, first interurban electric railroad in the county and now the first distillery since Prohibition!
Trail Distilling Products
Trail Distilling is producing the finest in premium spirits. They have award-winning craft spirits that are handcrafted, using clear Cascadian glacial water from Mt Hood and naturally-harvested grains and botanicals. They are also a certified farm distillery.
- Trillium Gin – very citrus and floral forward with some juniper and a slight peppery finish. It is London-Dry style with 14 botanicals. It has also been named one of the Fifty Best gins in the world.
- Trillium Pink Pinot Gin – this gin is aged in an Oregon pinot noir barrel for a minimum of 2 months. The flavor has elegant florals, lightly toasted oak, and delicate.
- Trillium Barrel Reserved Gin – this golden gin is aged in medium toasted Oregon Pinot Noir Casks for a minimum of six months. Warming spices combine and give a flavorful finish.
- First City Vodka – they use 100% Non-GMO wheat to make a smoother vodka. We can attest that this vodka was tasty and rich with a silky finish. You all know we aren’t huge vodka lovers, but this was lovely and one that we would buy!
- First City Whiskey – This American small batch Corn Whiskey is aged five years then finished in Oregon Pinot Noir Casks. It has smooth and buttery vanilla, toast and caramel notes.
- First City Rum – this Jamaican style rum is made from 100% Black Pearl Molasses. It has flavor of burnt sugars, smoke, and toasted caramels with a hint of tropical fruit, toffee and vanilla.
More products are on the way, including a lovely whiskey that we got to sample. But, you will have to wait a while so it can age a bit more. But, it will be worth the wait!
Trail Distilling has been awarded the USA Gin Distillery of the Year 2019 by the Asia International Spirits Competition, as well as the Best Woman Distiller and Best of the Best at the International Women’s Spirit Competition 2022.
We can’t wait to start mixing with the products we brought home, and hope you add Trail Distilling to your list of must visit places! We love that we can highlight a women owned small business, because that’s what this blog is too! Thanks to Sara for the great visit.
Trail Distilling hosted tours and tastings the third Saturday of the month – and you can make reservations online to attend. Their tasting room is also open Wednesday-Sunday 2-6pm and by appointment.
21553 S HWY 213
Oregon City, OR 97045
Other Distilleries to Visit
- Holyrood Distillery – Edinburgh, Scotland
- Hotaling Distillery – San Francisco
- Dampfwerk Distillery – Minneapolis
- Ko Hana Rum – Hawaii
- St George Distillery – Oakland, California
- Holladay Distilling – Weston, Missouri
- Prohibition Spirits – Sonoma, California
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