Cameron Holck/The Whiskey Wash - June 1, 2018
Chambers Bay Distillery is a small, focused distillery found on the south side of Seattle. It began producing its first spirits in 2014. As with most start up spirits producers in this age, it began with a vodka to pay the bills while its whiskey aged. Chambers Bay Distillery has four products to choose from, including a younger version of the whiskey we’re reviewing here, and a ghost pepper whiskey.
You immediately get the impression that the two founders of this brand are not messing around. They seem to understand what it takes to produce not only a quality whiskey, but also a quality company. The bottles are well labeled, interesting enough to catch the eye but not obnoxious in any way. Elegantly modern, perhaps.
Chambers Bay Distillery’s founders Jeff Robinette and Alan Davis seem to have a keen sense of quality. They are using corn and wheat from Washington state, yeast from local apple orchards, and placing their barrels on a boathouse to increase interaction with the wood.
Still only a few years old, Chambers Bay Distillery is making news in the Seattle area and its products are available in Washington and parts of Oregon. Its ‘expedited’ aging process most definitely helps the brand get ahead of the game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if demand goes up for this sea-aged bourbon whiskey.
Tasting Notes: Chambers Bay Distillery Straight Bourbon
Vital Stats: 47.5%, at least three years old. 71% sweet yellow corn, 19% soft white wheat, 10% malted barley. 375mL bottle for around $39.95.
Appearance: Wild flower honey.
Nose: Green fruits such as melon and apple. Wheat comes through in a big way as a the sweetness carries pleasant tropical spice and a hint of apple blossom. The only major flaw is a noticeable plastic aroma, almost like PVC pipe, that occurs at a distance. A few drops of water reduces the volatility enough to dissipate that note.
Palate: Rather delicious from the start, fresh cut wood is prevalent. Pleasantly soft, especially for a three-year bourbon. Fruity and floral notes are backed by berry and wood spice. A hint of a caramel and a definitive savory aspect carry the finish through for a long time as you go back for another sip.
This is an impressive whiskey. It's delicious at only three years old. Chambers Bay Distillery set out to make something delicious, and it worked pretty much the first time (I'm making this assumption based on the age of the distillery and the age of this whiskey). The bottle reviewed here is batch number 1, and it has a beautiful, savory roundness to it that make it a fantastic sipper. I haven't made a cocktail with it yet, but I imagine it would be lovely in a Perfect Manhattan. Personally, this could be a whiskey I'd purchase as a gift to a friend, or to myself. I look forward to seeing what Chambers Bay Distillery can do in the future.