Welcome back to Sip Northwest’s Bar Tab, our editor’s weekly selection of what to drink in the Northwest now. Regardless of the equinox calendar, it really feels like spring has arrived around our neck of the woods and we’ll toast to that, with four season-appropriate libations. Come on in, belly up to the counter and order a digital drink on us.
Triangulate Pale Ale | Pyramid Brewing Co. | One part fruit ale, one part wheat beer, this hybrid pale ale is hopped with three different varieties, then dry-hopped with Lemondrop — a hop known for its big, grassy, citrusy nose — and real lemon peel. Creamy, malty and soft, oily citrus scents waft from a poured pint, while the crisp and refreshing palate gently hints at citrus through the broad malt flavor.
Healy’s Reserve Cask-Rested Gin | Trailhead Spirits | Found in the historic district of downtown Billings, Montana, this craft distiller produces its spirits from estate-grown wheat and ages its baseline gin — made with traditional botanicals (juniper, coriander) and some non-traditional additions (hops, heather tips, bitterroot) — in used whiskey barrels. Whiskey resurrected, the gin pushes out heady aromatics of vanilla, oak spice, sweet herbs and chamomile. The palate pops with spice and widens in its creamy texture, with a botanical twinge in the finish to confirm it is gin after all.
2016 Vin de Days, Willamette Valley | Day Wines | Two words: breakfast wine. Not to downplay winemaker Brianne Day’s impact on the young and natural winemaking world of Willamette Valley, but this blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Müller Thurgau and Muscat (at a low, low 12 percent ABV) sincerely hits the spot in prior to the afternoon. Intentional and specific, fruit for this wine was picked with the blend in mind, pressed and fermented with wild yeast in stainless steel. Crispness is delivered to the wide-mouthed, broad palate of tropical fruit, with spring flowers and taste bud-awakening texture.
Hard Apricot | Atlas Cider Co. | In Greek mythology, Atlas was the titan sentenced to hold up the sky for all eternity, never again able to sample the apricot-flavored “nectar of the Gods” the Greek mortals savored on the ground. In Bend, Oregon, Atlas is one of the top-selling cider brands in the state and its apricot-infused cider uses fresh-pressed golden orange apricots to bring its nectar to a glass near you. Crowd-pleasing aromas of apricot flesh and skin burst with the bubbles, sunny with the spring fruits but off-dry and faintly tart on the palate.