ROLLING RIVER SPIRITS
Below is Rolling River’s section of the Willamette Week article written by Matthew Singer. To read the entire Willamette Week article published on November 19, 2014 click here.
Rolling River Spirits
1215 SE 8th Ave., Suite H, 236-3912, rollingriverspirits.com.
A distillery tasting room can often feel like the perfume counter at a department store, with a paid shill regurgitating advertising copy while mixing in enough improvised banter to make it seem like a genuine human interaction. At Rolling River, the experience is more like entering a stranger’s living room and having them show off photos of their grandkids. A true mom-and-pop enterprise—or, rather, mom-pop-and-son—head distiller Tim Rickard graduated from homebrewing in 2011 and established Rolling River with his father, Rick, and mother, Joan. Even after moving up to Distillery Row this year, the company remains all in the family, and devoid of pretension: Pouring samples from behind the handsome curved wood bar in their small, open warehouse space, Joan talks up the liquors as if she’s in her kitchen auditioning them for the neighbors. It’s a charmingly homespun operation, but the products are elegant and sophisticated. There are only two being bottled at the moment—an impeccably smooth vodka, made in a still Tim Rickard hand-built himself, and a deliciously flowery gin. But whiskey, flavored rum and an aquavit are in the works. MATTHEW SINGER.
Tastings & Tours: 4:30-7 pm Friday, noon-5 pm Saturday-Sunday, weekdays by appointment. $5 for samples of the vodka and gin, plus a mini-cocktail and complimentary shot glass. A tour isn’t necessary; you can view practically the whole operation from the tasting room.
Drink this: The remarkably sippable gin ($26.50), accented by hints of star anise and juniper.