We finally got out to Samish Island last week to check out a new addition to the local food scene, Golden Distillery. We had just stocked up on bread, cheese and salami in Edison and were heading for Taylor Shellfish in preparation for Christmas Eve dinner, so it made for an easy (and scenic) detour.
It’s a small operation, and the owners are happy to give you a tour of the premises. They grind, brew, distill and age all their ingredients on site, using entirely Washington-grown grain and fruit.
We met the distillery dogs, who take their job as greeters very seriously. And we tasted our way through the current lineup, which includes single-malt whiskey, several brandies and a white barley whiskey called White Gold. My favorites were the White Gold, which had a clean flavor and light burn, and the Cabernet brandy, which was just a nice smooth brandy, very easy to sip.
The apple brandy, which is made from locally grown Jonagolds, has a very different flavor from most apple spirits – instead of an overall essence-of-apples effect, it really does taste of Jonagolds. Interesting. The raspberry brandy is distilled from Pasek Cellars raspberry wine, something we used to like a lot but have lost our taste for. I gather it’s popular with many women customers, but not really my thing.
Over all, I think they’re doing some nice work. And it’s a good excuse to go driving out to Samish Island.