Restaurant At Portland’s Nines Hotel Bottles Own Artisanal Whiskey

PORTLAND, OREGON Urban Farmer, the modern steakhouse concept inside The Nines hotel, has released its second bottling of barrel-aged Urban Farmer Whiskey. A strong proponent of local dining, Urban Farmer has collaborated with Lee Medoff of House Spirits Distillery to become a player in Portland’s unique distilling scene. Aged and bottled on site, Barrel #2 is being poured in Urban Farmer’s popular bar and restaurant, with a third bottling slated for later this year.

“Urban Farmer Whiskey takes our mission to ‘keep it local’ to a whole new level, making the restaurant not just a provider, but a player on the Oregon distilling scene,” says Peter Karpinski, chief operating officer and cofounder of Sage Restaurant Group. “Barrel #2 is the perfect way to toast the new Gilded Age of Cocktails or as an opening round to experience the Urban Farmer’s celebration of Oregon craft distillers.”

Released from its new American oak barrel in late May, Barrel #2 of Urban Farmer Whiskey has been aged 18 months and comes in at 98.9 proof. It is crafted for sipping, with dark brown sugar evolving into caramel and licorice with hints of lime and cinnamon on the palette.

Whiskey’s Genesis

The story of Urban Farmer Whiskey goes back to the summer of 2008, when Karpinski and opening manager Meaghan Goedde hit upon the original idea of a still and whiskey tasting room at the restaurant. The collaboration with House Spirits Distillery produced Urban Farmer Moonshine with a mash bill of 80% Rye and 20% malted barley. Moonshine proved quite popular and remains so for house cocktails, as well as Urban Farmer’s daily Moonshine Punch.

But why stop there? Distiller Medoff divided Moonshine into three different 15-gallon barrels, each small of size to provide more wood surface area—and thus more character—to the spirit. After 15 months of aging on site, Barrel #1 was released from its used American oak barrel in January. Now long gone, the first round of Urban Farmer Whiskey was one to remember.

Due to be released in August after 23 months of aging in new French oak, Urban Farmer Whiskey Barrel #3 is shaping up as the darkest and sweetest yet, with even more creosote on the nose warming into coffee and roasted pineapple and big flavors of caramel and licorice with hints of lime.