Woodinville Whiskey Co.
I just got back from Seattle, WA, and if you've never been to the Pacific Northwest, it's an absolutely beautiful part of the country! You should definitely visit if you ever have the chance. I was out there on business, of course, apprenticing at Woodinville Whiskey Co. (who's making some really great stuff!). I was there for a week, and I'm grateful to my good friend Ben Pippenger, who lives in Seattle, for letting me stay with him. Right now, they make a vodka (Peabody) and a white dog (Headlong) and are in the process of aging their bourbon. I tend to prefer darker spirits rather than vodka and gin, but their Peabody vodka is quite good. I love the re-emergence of the white dog spirit, and their Headlong is one of the best I've tasted. They've set the bar quite high!
Woodinville Whiskey Co. is a great operation and Orlin & Brett, the two owners, are great guys whom I really enjoyed working with. I've attended a lot of training and have done my own voracious reading about distillation techniques and methods, but there's nothing like jumping in and physically doing it yourself.
During my week, I got a veritable crash course in running a micro-distillery. I did everything from helping make cuts to cleaning tanks to bottling and everything in between. It was a tremendous experience and I can't thank Brett and Orlin enough for their hospitality and willingness to open their doors to me and field my endless questions. They are good men, and I hope to continue our relationship for years to come!