At J.P. Trodden Distilling in Woodinville, Washington, owner and distiller Mark Neishem will always have materials for a Manhattan on-hand. A distillery amongst the wine-saturated warehouses of northern Woodinville, Neishem says he wanted to do something to set himself apart as a tasting room. In turn, Neishem and his wife, “muse” and co-owner Jennifer Severson, have also set themselves apart as a distillery in Washington—they are one of the few whiskey-focused distilleries in the state that use 100 percent Washington product, made by their own hands and aged to completion in-house (neighbor Woodinville Whiskey and Seattle’s 2Bar Spirits are also on the short list). Aged for a three-year minimum, the J.P. Trodden Small Batch Washington bourbon—named for Neishem’s grandfather who may or may not have helped carry hooch over from the Canadian border during Prohibition—is the introduction to the brand’s slowly growing and maturing lineup. Neishem says he has a few select bottlings in the works that will be aging for six to eight years total.
The bourbon itself is everything a brown liquor aficionado would hope for with upfront aromas of vanilla, oak and smoke, delivering malted grains, caramel, moss and butter with air. In terms of both texture and flavor, the palate is as smooth as butter, with rich and bold caramel tones, toasty oak and stone fruit as the liquid slides down.
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