Soft Tail Spirits is truly the definition of “Craft Distilling”. When we started distilling in 2008, we wanted to produce the finest spirits possible using the most traditional equipment available.
Our grappa still is an old world, hammered copper Alembic from Portugal. Affectionately called ‘Maggie’ , her design has been time tested in Europe for centuries, making her perfectly suited for producing quality grappa. With her 58,000 BTU burners lit, it takes a little more attention than the computerized stills being used routinely today, but we believe that pushing a button and letting a computer make ethanol stretches the definition of “craft”.
“We monitor our stills and spirits by hand, with all of our senses, then ultimately by our patrons”
Located in Woodinville, surrounded by western Washington’s largest collection of wineries, it was our plan to capitalize on their wasted pressings destined for land fill. So, in 2008, we produced our first three grappas; a Blanco, Giallo and Reserve distilled from a blend of Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet wine grapes. The following season in 2009 we produced two single varietal grappas; A wonderful Sangiovese– that went on to win a silver medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition– and a hearty Cabernet Sauvignon. Since then, we’ve been experimenting with aged grappas, many of which are still on oak, and more unique variations, including a limited run of Cabarnet in 2011 with a distinctly different profile.
Following our line of grappas, we knew that vodka would be our next challenge. With vodka being such a widely consumed spirit, we wanted to create a vodka that would make an impression on the most discerning palate, not the same vodka from the same stills that everyone else is using. We wanted to create something different, something that would stand out in an increasingly crowded market. The answer came to us like an apple on the head. What would be better than to make a premium vodka from the iconic Washington State apple? A base that offers unique, high quality natural sugars for the distillation of vodka, more so than the more traditional grain or potato. Through our multiple distillation process we go from an apple cider, to an apple brandy, then all the way until the apple flavors are all but gone and what’s left is a crisp, fresh premium vodka, with just a hint of something that sets us apart.
Stay tuned in to see what’s next at Soft Tail Spirits. We currently have a number of spirits aging away, and every year brings new and exciting opportunities for grappa. Or, come down for a tour and get a sneak peek and chat with our master distiller about past, present and future (as it pertains to Soft Tail, at least). Join us on Facebook for updates, or check back for information on events we do from time to time.