Do a Liquor Tasting at a Portland Distillery

Amongst industrial warehouses and businesses in Portland lies a handful of distilleries which produce an array of unique liquors. This, frequently visited, area is known as Distillery Row and once you get tired of the downtown pubs, you must venture to drink at a Portland Distillery.

It’s just one of the many top things to do in Portland.

There are five liquor houses that make up Distillery Row though we only went to one, the New Deal Distillery which is known for its artisan vodkas.
New Deal Portland Distillery Menu

This is perfect because vodka is that liquor. The one I vowed to never drink straight up again after an eventful evening at a comedy club that ended up with the bathroom stall spinning. 

Twenty years later the promise I made to myself will be broken. At a Portland distillery.

We entered what appeared to be the side door of a warehouse and the production lines were busy at work, bottling booze. In the corner, with a clear view of manufacturing, there was a small bar where tastings were just five bucks. Time to belly up.
Empty Bottles at New Deal Portland Distillery New Deal Distillery Empty Bottles Bottle Tree at Portland Distillery

We allowed the staff to select our five liquors for tasting, each of which was served in the tiniest plastic cup. No more than an ounce.

The miniscule size would surely prevent any room from spinning in the future. Phew.

Of all the liquors tasted at this Portland Distillery, the Hot Monkey Vodka was a contender for the best soley because of its name, but the Ginger Liqueur was my favorite. Probably because it did not contain the word ‘Vodka’ in its name.

When the tasting was over it evidently wasn’t enough, the room stood still. So, I then ordered a mini cocktail, the Muddy Russian, made with their Mud Puddle Chocolate liquor. It was served in a real glass.
New Deal Distillery Vodka  Mini Cocktail at Portland Distillery

Have you been liquor tasting at a Portland distillery? Is it on your list of things to do in Portland?


Portland Bucket List: 45 Quirky & Fun Things to Do in Oregon’s Weirdest City
Visit the 611 Foot Multnomah Waterfall in Oregon
Tell a Love Story Through an International Rose Garden
Eat the Old Dirty Bastard at Portland’s Voodoo Doughnuts
Eat a Bug Sundae at Portland’s Freakybuttrue Peculiarium

2018-12-21T23:29:28+00:00December 17th, 2012|Categories: FOOD, North America, Oregon, TRAVEL|Tags: , |


  1. Anita Mac December 18, 2012 at 6:47 am - Reply

    This could be my kind of distillery!  We have been to the beer Distillery District in Toronto, but as a non beer drinker, I rarely get excited.  Love the thought of a Ginger Liqueur – was it quite poignant like ginger?  Could really give some zip to a cocktail.

    • Annette White December 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm - Reply

      The ginger was pretty strong and I am typically not a ginger lover, but it was quite tasty!

  2. Aryn December 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    I've never toured a distillery before, that sounds awesome! I have done a couple breweries in Colorado before but the altitude really got to me and I was sauced after 2 beers, haha!
    Driftwood and Daydreams

    • Annette White December 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm - Reply

      I am a cheeap drunk too 😉 Two cocktails and I am overly buzzed, three and I will be on the floor!

  3. Rainy Daisy January 23, 2013 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    Yesss! I love tasting just about ANYTHING in Portland. We went to Clear Creek in NW, and they give you 5 free tastes…I was just about done for the day after 4. But they were SO good! 

    • Annette White January 23, 2013 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      Free tastes? YAY to that!

  4. A Bit of Bourbon Heaven at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky July 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    […] once toured a distillery in Portland, Oregon where we drove to a quiet warehouse district of town, walked into a small aluminum, […]

  5. […] once toured a distillery in Portland, Oregon where we drove to a quiet warehouse district of town, walked into a small aluminum, […]

  6. Kerry July 8, 2014 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Not sure if you are a beer fan, but the Distillery District in Toronto is a great place to check out even if you don’t like beer. Great restaurants and the energy and atmosphere is not to be missed.

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