The Leopolds are among the more rarefied of the microdistillers in the country, winning numerous awards for their line of spirits in the seven years they have been operating.
They make nearly everything from scratch — their whiskey from corn, rye and barley; their rum from sugar cane; their cherry liqueur from northern Michigan montmorencies.
For now, they produce 14 spirits.
“It’s like the brewing industry back in the 1980s,” says Todd on another day as he makes gin, pouring pails of juniper berries and Leopold Bros. Silver Tree vodka into the company’s tall, copper German still. “Nobody is really sure what they are doing. Everybody is learning from scratch.”
I’m down to just a few ounces of their wonderful gin, which I’m hoping I can find again in Oregon without too much trouble. I enjoyed their new absinthe too, and managed to snag a bottle of their French press coffee liqueur before hitting the road. I’ll crack that one open when I get to Portland.