McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt Whiskey
Steve McCarthy, the master distiller at Clear Creek Distillery, purchases the finest malted barley at Port Ellen in Islay, Scotland, and imports it into the United States. Once the malted barley has been imported, it is milled, mashed and fermented into a craft beer by the Widmer Brothers, a Portland-based microbrewery. Then, the craft beer is hauled to McCarthy's craft distillery, where McCarthy distills it in a single pass through his Holstein copper-pot still. As a result of distilling the whiskey in one pass, McCarthy must make large cuts to the heads and tails of the distillate, but is able topreserve more of the flavor and character of the barley during distillation.
While most Scottish distilleries age malt whisky in used bourbon casks, McCarthy ages Oregon Single Malt in used sherry casks, which gives the whiskey a heavier body and more lush notes of apricots, cherries and blackberries. In addition, after its initial maturation in the sherry casks, McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt is double-barreled, or finished, in air-dried Oregon oak casks. This dual maturation process contributes unique tannins to the whiskey's flavor profile, and gives the whiskey hints of cinnamon, honey and oaky spices.