Haines, Alaska- Port Chilkoot Distillery brought home awards for the two spirits it entered this year in the American Distilling Institute’s 10thAnnual Craft Spirits Competition held last week in San Diego: Green Siren Absinthe and Port Chilkoot Bourbon. The Absinthe won Best in the Absinthe Category and a Silver medal among all Craft Spirits. The Bourbon won a Bronze medal. The American Distilling Institute is a national trade organization for certified craft distillers. This year’s judging included a record number of craft spirits from among more than 1,000 craft distilleries across the U.S. and Canada. Judging was conducted by blind tasting. This year’s Craft Spirits Conference, where the awards were announced, was held in San Diego from April 4-7, 2016.
“This was the first competition we’ve entered these spirits in, so it was exciting to see them do so well”, says Heather Shade, co-owner of Port Chilkoot Distillery. “We are releasing our Bourbon one barrel at a time, as it is ready. We sent them a bottle from barrel number 7 for the competition, which was a popular one in the Tasting Room. Each barrel gets better and better!”
Port Chilkoot Bourbon was the first product made by Port Chilkoot Distillery, but has been maturing in oak barrels at the distillery in Haines, Alaska for two years. The distillery recently started bottling and selling the Bourbon in limited, single-barrel releases. “We mill the grain, cook the mash, ferment, distill, and mature the whiskey on site”, says co-owner and distiller, Sean Copeland. "So it’s very authentic, and handcrafted. It’s the only Bourbon made in Alaska”.
Green Siren is also the only Absinthe made in Alaska and is crafted using locally-grown herbs such as Wormwood, Hyssop, and Lemon Balm. “It’s a very special product, says Heather. We developed the recipe based on a traditional Absinthe recipe from the late 1700’s, but with a bit of local flavor”.
Port Chilkoot Bourbon is available around Alaska in very limited quantities. Green Siren Absinthe is currently only available for sale in Haines, where the distillery is located, but will be distributed throughout Alaska later this spring.