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Bull Run Distillery Offers Everything You Love About Whiskey

When we find a unique distillery with a great back story and a fantastic line of spirits, we want to get our hands on as many bottles as possible so we can share them with our members. It's even more exciting for us when we can share those spirits with multiple clubs! Bull Run Distilling is one of those gems that offers multiple product types- whiskeys, bourbons, and vodkas, and our members can't get enough of them!

About Bull Run Distillery

Located in NW Portland Oregon since 2010, Bull Run Distillery focuses on everything whiskey. They love to use different grains and experiment with flavors by finishing in different types of barrels- all of which contribute to their unique spirits. Thanks to the local water source from the Bull Run Watershed along with the Pacific NW environment, each expression really lets the “spirit” of Oregon shine through. Even the labeling is super cool- Bull Run chose a vintage apothecary theme, and the font was actually taken from Prohibition paperwork. The bottles themselves also echo that sentiment. We’re sharing a few selections from Bull Run this month in various clubs, and we can’t wait to hear what you think about them! 

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Lee Medoff began his journey as a brewer at McMenamins and co-founded House Spirits before founding Bull Run Distillery. He uses his decades of experience in brewing and wine-making to distill unique whiskeys and vodkas, but in 2010, Lee set his sights on making a pure malt Oregon Whiskey, using local malted barley. He then began to develop unique barrel-finished products that catapulted Bull Run's sought-after whiskeys to where they are today. We’re excited to offer a few of Bull Run’s exceptional whiskeys and vodkas in our Bottle Shop.

The environment, production techniques, ingredients, and the spirit of craftsmanship that goes into every bottle made a winning combination for us! We’d love to share with you a few of our favorite bottles below. 

Bull Run Line of Spirits

We’ve chosen several of Bull Run’s bottles to share with members of our various Spirits Subscription Clubs, but we also have a few bottles to share with you in our Bottle Shop. Bull Run offers an award-winning lineup of spirits from their Barrel Strength American Whiskey to the Carlton Straight Rye Whiskey to the family-inspired Medoff Vodka to the Pinot Noir Finished American Whiskey. Each offers distinct flavors and aromas, but all of them share that Pacific Northwest character, unique to Bull Run.

Bull Run Distillery Carlton Rye Whiskey - Taster's Club Exclusive

Bull Run’s Carlton Rye Whiskey is an exclusive Taster’s Club feature. It’s so exclusive that the distillery has not shared this outside of their own bottle shops or special clubs. That means you can only try this bottle if you go to the distillery, or if you’re a Taster’s Club member! Luckily, as a member, you don’t have to go anywhere, and we’ll ship your bottle straight to you.

Bull Run Distillery Carlton Rye Whiskey - Taster's Club Exclusive

The Carlton Rye was originally released to honor the little town where Bull Run's 2nd tasting room is located. It has a nice richness and weight to its mouthfeel without a big bite like other ryes. The is part of Bull Run’s Merchant Bottling Series, made from premium ingredients. Bull Run likes to have a vintage apothecary feel in their logos, and it’s interesting to note that the font was actually taken from Prohibition paperwork! 

Tasting Notes

 Age

2+ years

Strength

45.17% / 90.34 Proof

Color

Rich deep caramel

Nose

Floral, honeycomb

Palate

Dry and reminiscent of biting into a 5-spice caramel apple

Finish

Spicy, silky


Why We Chose It

We’re always on the lookout for extremely unique bottles to share with you, so we are very excited to share this one with you. The flavors of the Carlton Rye are similar to a spiced caramel apple. It’s richer than most ryes with a heavier mouthfeel and offers a beautiful spicy, silky finish. It can be best enjoyed with a big ice cube but it also shows up nicely in a mixed drink.

How to Enjoy It

Bull Run Distillery Carlton Rye Whiskey - Taster's Club Exclusive cocktail

The Ward Eight

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Carlton Rye whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed & strained
  • 1/2 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed& strained
  • 2 teaspoons home-made grenadine **
  • Garnish: 2 or 3 speared cocktail cherries

Instructions

  • Add the rye whiskey, lemon and orange juices and grenadine to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with speared cherries.

** home-made Grenadine:

  • Take 2 cups good pomegranate juice, 2 cups sugar and combine in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Bring to a slow boil, stirring constantly until all of the sugar is dissolved.
  • Reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Allow the mixture to cool, then pour it into a small decanter or bottle with a tight-sealing lid.
  • Add a dash or two of orange flower water (don't overdo it).
  • Seal the bottle and give it a few good shakes.
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      Bull Run Vodka

      Bull Run Medoyeff Vodka 

      Bull Run’s Medoyeff Vodka, is a gluten-free vodka made with 100% corn. The distiller has even developed a special filtration, giving it a delicious texture and flavor. Bull Run changed its bottle from an enameled label and opaque white glass to crystal clear and minimalist to reflect the contents. There is a nice clean weight to this vodka that makes it easy to sip straight or through into your favorite martini. It’s also delicious super-chilled and straight from the freezer. But adding to your vodka cream sauce wouldn't be such a bad idea either!

      Bull Run Medoyeff Vodka

      Tasting Notes

      Age

      No age statement

      Strength

      40% ABV/80 Proof

      Color

      Crystal clear

      Nose

      Clean and herbal

      Palate

      Creamy, bright and bracing- slightly sweet and spicy

      Finish

      Minerally and lingering


      Why We Chose It

      We love the premium ingredients and care that goes into each of Bull Run's products- especially their whiskey and vodka. Because of the founder's extensive ditilling and brewing skills, we find the quality to be top-notch and extremely satisfying. This vodka is perfect for sipping or mixing, and the flavors are always spot on. We love the lightness and minerality of this spirit, and we're sure you're going to love it too!


      What Others Are Saying

      “That flawless H2o is the key to Medoyeff’s rich mouthfeel and crisp minerality." 

      -Food and Wine


      How To Enjoy It

      Bull Run Medoyeff Vodka cocktail

      Next-Level Pom-Cran

      Ingredients:

      • 2 oz Medoyeff Vodka
      • 1.5 oz Cranberry Juice
      • 1.5 oz Pomegranate Juice
      • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed and strained lemon juice
      • 1/4 oz Campari

      Directions:

      • Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Serve over a big ice cube with a lemon peel.

      Bull Run Medoyeff Starka Vodka

      Bull Run’s Medoyeff Starka Vodka, is a gluten-free vodka made with 100% corn. This bottle is similar to the Medoyeff Vodka, except that Pinot Noir Barrels give Starka Vodka its color and many layers. Aged for 1.5 years, you’ll notice that this vodka offers creamy flavors with hints of toasted vanilla and fruit.

      bull run medoyeff starka vodka

      Tasting Notes

      Age

      1.5 years

      Strength

      42.94% / 85.88 Proof

      Color

      Reddish, golden amber

      Nose

      Fruit, nut, vanilla

      Palate

      Creamy with hints of toasted vanilla and fruit

      Finish

      Spicy and soft with lingering grape and vanilla notes


      Why We Chose It

      The Starka Vodka is a vodka lover’s whiskey and a whiskey lover’s vodka! It can be treated as a whiskey and sipped on the rocks, or thrown into many styles of cocktails: vodka or whiskey.


      What Others Are Saying

      “Pinot noir and rye barrels give Bull Run Distillery’s starka creamy texture, with hints of subtle spice and lingering grape. The brandy-like character is perfect in a Sazerac or old-fashioned." 

      -Men's Journal

      How to Enjoy it

      starka strawberry hill bull run vodka

      Starka Strawberry Hill 

      Ingredients 

      • 1 oz Medoyeff Starka
      • 1 oz Brooks Winery Riesling
      • 1 oz Strawberry Simple Syrup**
      • ​.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice​​​ (strained)

       Instructions

      • Place all ingredients in shaker and pour in a coupe or martini glass. Adjust for sweetness or alcohol to preference. Cheers!

      **Strawberry Simple Syrup** Pour two cups sugar to one cup water in saucepan with two cups sliced strawberries. Slowly bring to a bowl. Cool. Strain twice.


      Bull Run Barrel Strength Bourbon 

      Bull Run’s Barrel Strength Bourbon Whiskey is a small-batch, high-rye bourbon, barrel-aged for 2-3 years. This uncut bourbon is a purist's dream with big, bold flavors and a little extra bite, and an average proof of 115 (varies slightly). This release is part of Bull Run’s Merchant Bottling Series, and it’s made with only premium ingredients including a mash bill of 25% rye, 65% corn, and 10% malted barley. The deep amber color looks gorgeous through the clear glass bottle, which is also worth noting: Bull Run likes to have a vintage apothecary feel in their logos, and the font was actually taken from Prohibition paperwork!  

      This barrel Proof Bourbon offers spicy notes that highlight a robust sip that doesn't compromise the structure. It’s excellent to sip straight or on the rocks, but the makers also recommend mixing it in an Old Fashioned. True to its name, the Old Fashioned cocktail is one of the oldest recorded recipes in the history of mixed drinks, developed in the late 19th century. See the featured recipe below that’s sure to add a nice layer of nutty softer texture to the drink. 

      bull run barrel strength bourbon


      Tasting Notes

      Age

      2-3 years

      Strength

      58.60% / 117.20

      Color

      Deep, dark amber

      Nose

      Mildly sweet and smoky with a hint of butterscotch

      Palate

      Smoky spicy sweetness

      Finish

      Smooth, warm and clean with a touch of honey


      Why We Chose It

      We love spicy ryes, and we were particularly interested in this one because it was uncut- bottled at the actual proof that it was barreled at. This means the bourbon boasts a concentration of big, bold flavors. We love that we can adjust the intensity of the flavors by adding a splash of water or mixing it in a drink, but if it was a crazy day, we’re sipping it straight! 

      What others are saying

      "It’s pretty and light without being forgettable, flavorful without being dense, and an interesting twist on the classic single malt expression."

      -The Whiskey Wash

      How to Enjoy It

      bull run whiskey old fashioned

      Bull Run Brown Butter Bourbon Old Fashioned

       Ingredients
      • 2 oz Bull Run Bourbon brown-butter washed*
      • 1 dropperful Aromatic Bitters
      • ¼ oz Maple Sugar Simple Syrup (equal parts sugar to water, can use brown sugar: medium heat in a saucepan just to dissolve)
      • 3 pieces of orange peel
      • 2 maraschino cherries

      Instructions 

      • In a rocks glass, muddle the bitters, maple sugar syrup, one orange peel and one cherry.
      • Add Bourbon and 1 large ice cube, stir until well-chilled. Garnish with an orange peel “rose” by rolling 2 peels with a Luxardo maraschino cherry inside.
      • *Brown-butter washed Bourbon: Slowly brown ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick) in a saucepan until well toasted and a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour a 750ml bottle of Bull Run Bourbon into a container and gently stir in the brown butter. Leave the mixture uncovered until completely cool and butter has become firm and risen to the top of the container. Freeze the mixture, skim off the solids then strain through a cheesecloth to remove all solids. Cover with lid, label and date. The bourbon will keep for a few weeks.

      Bull Run Distillery Pinot Noir Finished American Whiskey

      Bull Run’s Pinot Noir finished American Whiskey takes the brand’s oldest expression of whiskey (current batch 14 years) and rest it in former Oregon Pinot Noir barrels for up to one year. The local wine scene in Oregon was the inspiration for this whiskey. Pinot Noir barrels add another layer of complexity to this whiskey. The French Oak gently dries the whiskey and rather than fruit gives it a tea-like finish. While adding the beautiful garnet hue from the barrel.

      It has a nice richness and weight to its mouthfeel which is like dessert in a glass. The is part of Bull Run’s Merchant Bottling Series, made from premium ingredients. 

      bull run whiskey finished in pinot noir barrels

      Tasting Notes

      Age

      14 years

      Strength

      48.22 % / 96.44 Proof

      Color

      Dark amber leaning toward brick red

      Nose

      Bright, honey, dried cherry, and hazelnut

      Palate

      Eucalyptus and a hint of mint up front, leading to creamy vanilla and slight tobacco notes. 

      Finish

      Finishing with a dry spice

      Why We Chose It

      We love that this whiskey finishes like a dry wine, which makes it an excellent addition to a dessert table at gatherings with friends and family. It’s something different from what you might expect a whiskey to taste like, sometimes being called “a dessert in a glass” which adds to the intrigue of this bottle.


      What Others Are Saying

      “This is sweet, flavorful, and rich. It is delicious neat, on rocks, and in a cocktail.

      The profile is approachable for whiskey novices and nuanced enough for the advanced whiskey palate.  I'll have another!”

      -Customer review from Bitters and Bottles 

      How to Enjoy It

      bull run Pinot Noir New York Sour

      Pinot Noir New York Sour

      Ingredients

      • 2 ounces Bull Run Whiskey
      • 1 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed & strained
      • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
      • 1 egg white (optional)
      • 1/2 ounce red wine

      Instructions

      • Add whiskey, lemon and orange juice, simple syrup and egg white (optional) to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
      • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
      • Slowly pour in red wine over the back of a bar spoon so that the wine floats on top of the drink.

      ** home-made Simple Syrup:

      • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
      • 1/2 cup of water
      • Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat.
      • Stir until sugar is dissolved.
      • Let cool, then pour into a glass jar and seal tightly with a lid.
      • Simple syrup will keep, refrigerated, for about one month.

      Want Them All?

      They all sounds pretty delicious, don't they? We have each of these bottles in our Bottle Shop while the inventory lasts, so be sure to check them out!

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