Raising spirits on Capitol Hill
Whether you realize it or not, the law can have a tremendous impact on your life, especially if you live in Mega-City One, and run afoul of an elite corps of Street Judges led by Rocky Balboa. For the latest distillery using changes in the law to fill you with booze instead of Dredd, check out Oola, opening Thursday.
Opened by a self-taught spirits maker and budding hotelier, this Cap Hill micro-distillery is one of a handful (so far) of Seattle hooch purveyors to take advantage of the state's relaxed production laws, in this case to turn out high-end swill handcrafted using mostly local ingredients in a copper still-equipped space inside the long-vacant La Panzanella Bakery building.
You can now special-order Oola from the state, but it's also available for sale in limited amounts (two bottles per customer per day, so be cool) in their steel and reclaimed wood-heavy tasting room, which boasts polished copper counters, liquor-lined shelves and a window that provides a view of the production floor, also what Travis Henry calls the part of his house where his bedroom is.
Their first batch produced using Snohomish grains includes a vodka with subtle citrus and caramel flavors that major producers would normally filter out to ensure consistent taste across huge batches; and a botanical-/citrus-heavy gin that's highly drinkable because it's less juniper berry-forward, presumably a rotation change the coach decided on when dude kept getting crushed on the block.
Future plans include a bourbon-style whiskey aged in small barrels, as well as gin/vodka flavored w/ things like hot peppers and rosemary, plus they've got logo'd swag like flasks, cocktail glasses, and graphic tees like one reading "the bar is pretty high in here", so don't expect a 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes to cut it.