A 50th Birthday Surprise
For my 50th birthday, Tammy surprised me by scheduling an awesome party at Copperworks Distilling Company, a great establishment located across from the Pier district and below Pikes Place Market in downtown Seattle. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to celebrate my iconic birthday and Tammy is the best wife ever for knowing exactly what makes me tick.
My whole family came into town and many friends joined in on the celebration – I couldn’t have been happier. Jason Parker, owner and master distiller of Copperworks was courteous enough to stay late for the party (after being there since early that morning) and offered several tours of the distillery throughout the night. It was a fantastic night to remember!
A Distillery with a Vision
Tammy and I discovered Copperworks 2 years ago when we toured several local distilleries in the Seattle area for my birthday weekend. From the moment that we entered the distillery I felt that there was something different about this distillery, something that set it apart from the rest – something special. Even though the distillery was fairly new at the time you could tell that there was history in this place.
Maybe it’s because Jason Parker and Micah Nutt, the owners and master distillers of Copperworks decided to pay homage to the whiskey gods by purchasing 2 huge copper stills that were hand made in Scotland before being shipped to Seattle and installed in their facility. Theses copper behemoths are similar to the ones that you would see in the famous distilleries of Scotland, which has been used for centuries. Maybe it’s because they also decided to install a traditional spirits locker between these stills, which are devices that the tax man would use in Scotland to determine how much tax is due from the batch that was being distilled at the time. Maybe its because they decided to build their distillery near the Seattle Steam Company so they can pump this powerful steam straight into their facility to heat their stills instead of the modern heating options. All of these items are not required in order to make whiskey in America, but they found it important to go this extra step in order to make the type of spirits they wanted to make – to create the story that they wanted to create.
Jason was our host and tour guide during our visit. His infectious smile and his approachability made us feel right at home in his place of worship. His deep knowledge of the craft and his willingness to describe every part of the distillation process makes you feel like he is giving away the secret sauce, but you would soon realize that it takes a lot more than fancy equipment and basic knowledge of the distilling process to make a good spirit.
Jason had some stories to tell, as he had been an integral part of the Seattle micro-brewing industry for the last few decades. He helped start Pikes Place Brewing Company in the 80s (where he is best known for his “Kilt Lifter” scotch ale creation) and he also helped start Pyramid Brewing Company, another iconic Seattle micro-brewing destination. Several years ago Jason and Micah felt it was time to use their experience with brewing and move towards the new movement of micro-distilleries (after all, beer is basically baby whiskey!) and Copperworks was established.
What sets Copperworks apart from other distilleries is that all of their whiskies will be limited edition caskings. This means that they do not plan to have a single flagship whiskey (a specific taste that will be consistent from bottle to bottle). Instead, the taste of their whiskey will continue to change between caskings (the batch from a specific barrel). Instead, the taste of each bottle of whiskey will depend on the recipe and the barrels used in the aging process. This means that every edition of their whiskey will be different from the last – in essence, each casking will have their own story.
I am very excited to have found Copperworks early in their life and look forward to what lies ahead.