BY SUE KIDD
NOVEMBER 08, 2017 2:00 PM
Bourbon distillers concoct all kinds of ways to speed up the aging process.
Some of those methods include chopping up oak barrels and pitching them into stainless steel tanks. Another distillery pulses sound waves to agitate the bourbon. Another uses ultraviolet light.
In University Place, there’s a distillery that lets Puget Sound do all the work.
Chambers Bay Distillery has had a boathouse full of bourbon gently sloshing somewhere out on the water for the last three years (for security, the location is a secret).
Saturday, the distillery will release those first bottles of CBD Straight Bourbon, which will be the distillery’s flagship bourbon.
“It’s essentially more interaction of spirit and wood that’s created by that motion,” said Alan Davis, who co-owns the distillery with business partner Jeff Robinette.
Without the gentle rocking, the spirit probably wouldn’t be ready for three more years, he said. Other distilleries have used the method using ships that sail the ocean.
The Chambers Bay batch that’s being released now was distilled in May 2014.They put the raw distillate into 25-gallon barrels.
While Kentucky bourbon typically is aged in 53-gallon barrels, those smaller 25-gallon barrels allow more flavor to be imparted quickly because of the surface contact with the wood.
“We’re using Mother Nature and the Northwest’s natural environment as much as we can,” said Davis. “And that plays to our yeast too, which we got from Curran apple orchard.”
Last year, they also cultivated yeast from blackberries at Fort Steilacoom.
Saturday’s bourbon release party at the distillery in University Place will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with food truck Lizzy Lou’s Comfort Food serving on site from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. They’ll have an outside tent set up in case it rains. On the menu will be rib tips using a sauce made with the distillery’s Ghost Dog whiskey.
Longtime Tacoma bartender Rose Peterson will be behind the bar for the party, serving the distillery’s micro cocktails.