dry fly distillery
it’s a bit difficult to apply the word “seasonal” to vodka or gin. “organic” has already been tapped into when it comes to vodka. this leaves “local”, the marketing word everyone loves these days, and dry fly spirits are using it to their advantage.
the spokane distillery is washington’s first since prohibition, the project – more a business than a hobby – of two fly fishing friends, kent fleischmann and don poffenroth.
the attractive bottles of vodka and gin (whisky will be available once aging is complete) proudly bear the word “washington”, and the website describes being knee-deep in a scenic bend of the gallatin river. of course, all of the grain in the booze comes from washington, though the pot still used to make it was shipped over from goppingen, germany.
it’s intelligent marketing – made me want a bottle. why, in a state brimming with wineries, and in an era when spirits are the beatles of the beverage world, are there no other distilleries in washington? though there are nearly 80 small distilleries in the country, washington liquor laws have changed so little since prohibition that distilling here is challenging and risky. in order to get a state license, you must have a federal license. and in order to get a federal license, you have to have a functioning distillery. should you be denied the license, you’ll be left with an illegal, but fully working operation that probably cost you your retirement money.
and yet, the dry fly guys are here to tell you it’s possible. a growing list of seattle bars and restaurants (canlis, crush, lola, vessel) have dry fly on their shelves – not just because it’s from washington but because it’s delicious. the vodka is extremely clean, as good for sipping as vodka can be and certainly martini perfect. i swear i get a hint of the wheat it was made form. the gin isn’t powerfully juniper-y, which i consider to be an asset. the smell is fruit and flowers, the flavor flowers and spices with an aftertaste of fruit – lovely, to say the least.