Kiana Lodge Whiskey Tasting
What: Whiskey tasting
When: Thursday, Oct. 17, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Kiana Lodge, 14976 Sandy Hook Road NE, Suquamish.
Cost: $50, includes admission, sampling, door prizes and discount coupons.
RSVP/prepay required. Call 360-598-7311 or 866-738-4307.
During the ‘20s prohibition era in Washington state, an Okanogan-area mail carrier by the name of J.P. Trodden would often cross the Canadian border while on his delivery route.
After emptying his mail pouch north of the border, it wasn’t uncommon for Trodden’s bag to weigh a little more than it should on his return trip.
That is, Trodden would stow a bottle of whiskey in his bag to be enjoyed back home with his friends.
Whiskey often carries with it more than an arrangement of flavor, a rich scent, or punch to the tastebuds. Whiskey comes with history and, on occasion, a good story.
Today, Trodden’s grandson, Mark, honors his ancestor’s memory with a bourbon bearing his name, crafted in Woodinville.
Trodden’s tale, and bourbon, is just one that will be shared at the Kiana Lodge’s whiskey tasting from 6-8 p.m., Oct. 17.
Kevin Coate of Kent-based Click Distributors plans on showcasing J.P. Trodden Bourbon, among many other whiskies, at the Kiana Lodge’s tasting.
“It’s a good little story,” Coate said.
“The one I’m really excited about is a local bourbon, J.P. Trodden,” he said. “He’s new, but he’s been making bourbon right … the bourbon is awesome.”
But the trade show-style whiskey tasting isn’t about any one whiskey. It will host an array of brands, many not commonly found on local shelves.
“(Click Distributors) will have some local bourbons and some old family Virginia bourbons. We run the whole gamut. We have a lot of craft spirits, Washington made,” Coate said. “I pulled out some real gems for this because I enjoy showing them.”
Tasters can browse from table to table, perusing varieties, and sampling new brands.
“People can roam at their leisure, talk to the distributors and try something new,” said Frank Black of Kiana Lodge.
Hors d’oeuvres and door prizes will also be on hand. But the wide world of whiskey will take center stage at the event.
“There will be four of the major distributors in the state,” Black said. “They will each have a table with Scotches, Canadians, Americans and Irish whiskies.”
“There will be stuff that people normally won’t find in stores,” he added. “It gives people a chance to try something new that they may not want to go spend the money on just to try.”
Rocky Yeh, an ambassador for the Cooper & Sons/American Northwest distributor, will also be on hand to present some of his preferred picks.
“I’m planning on featuring Michter’s Whiskey and Whistle Pig Rye,” Yeh said. “I always like to share some of the history or little gems about what makes each brand unique.”
Yeh can quickly point out intriguing aspects of both brands.
“Michter’s is a fast-growing brand that, until recently, was really only known among pretty serious whiskey enthusiasts,” he said. “The history of the brand dates back to the Revolutionary War and we’ve been fortunate enough to finally get a large enough allocation here to be able to bring it to more people.”
Yeh also finds Whistle Pig Rye an intriguing whiskey to try.
“Whistle Pig Rye is one of the first projects that David Pickerel worked on after leaving Maker’s Mark as their master distiller, after a long career there,” Yeh added. “Its main distinguishing marks are that it’s a wonderfully balanced product that still speaks to the spiciness of rye and is one of the very few 100-year-old, 100 percent ryes available in the market.”
The event aims to provide a variety of rare bottles, small batches or simply special runs by favored brands will be among the spread. While much of the featured varieties aren’t easily found, Black said that enthusiasts won’t have to go too far should a special bottle pique their interest. Whiskies that are featured at the tasting will be available at the Masi Shop, 16281 Washington and Highway 305, on the Suquamish Reservation.
Tasters at Thursday’s event will have the chance to pick up a coupon for purchases at the Masi Shop, as well.
Come for usquebaugh — the juice of the barley, bourbon, Scotch or rye. Call it what you like, all are welcome to experience whiskey in all its glory, shades and origins at the Kiana Lodge tasting.