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A Bourbon Lover’s Bourbon

September 19, 2017 – September is Bourbon Heritage month so we looked around for something special and we found Trail’s End.  It was like finding the prize in a treasure hunt.

This bourbon pays homage to the heritage of the Old West and the end of the trail for the Lewis and Clark expedition from May 1804 to September 1806.  Here’s one tidbit of information we bet your teacher didn’t share:  When they left Missouri in 1804, in addition to food and items to trade, they also packed nearly 100 gallons of whiskey!   Of course they had a long way to travel to reach the Pacific Ocean in Oregon and the party was made up of 59 thirsty men plus one dog, so it wasn’t an unreasonable amount.

Trail’s End is the result of collaboration between Hood River Distillers, the oldest distillery in Oregon, and an expert team at Clear Creek Distillery, the second oldest distillery in Oregon.  The bourbon is premium 8-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in Oregon oak.

The beautiful mahogany-colored whiskey in packaged in a handsome bottle that is the essence of substance and quality.  Below the heavily embossed Trail’s End is a discreet, classy label.  It is the kind of bottle you want on your bar to make a statement (and to enjoy).  Or to give as a gift to your favorite aunt and uncle, or your boss.

This is a bourbon that will engage anyone who tries it. The nose promises toasted nuts and apricots followed by pleasant hints of tobacco.  The palate adds sweetness and vanilla to the mix.  The finish is buttery with a little chocolate, or is it coffee, creeping in.   It must be the Oregon oak that makes each sip so interesting and rewarding.  Not surprisingly, Trail’s End won Double Gold at the 2017 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition and Double Gold at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Trail’s End is 45 percent ABV, 90 proof and is available nationally with a suggested retail of $49.95.  Below are some cocktail recipes created for Trail’s End.

We’ve spent a lot of time researching the matter but were unable to find out whether Lewis and Clark and company ran out of whiskey.  If you know, please share.


Maple Bourbon Smash

½ oz. pure maple syrup, preferably Grade A Dark Amber
½ oz. fresh orange juice
¼ oz. fresh lemon juice
4 dashes of Angostura bitters
½ orange wheel
2 oz. Trail’s End Bourbon Whiskey
1 ½ oz chilled seltzer


Method:  In a rocks glass, combine the maple syrup with the orange juice, lemon juice and bitters. Add the orange wheel and lightly muddle. Add the Trail’s End and stir well. Fill the glass with ice and top with the chilled seltzer.


New Fashioned

2 oz. Trail’s End Bourbon Whiskey
1 brown sugar cube
2 dashes of Fee Brothers Orange Bitters
2 blackberries
1 orange wedge
1 thyme sprig
Splash of club soda

Method: Place the sugar cube in a rocks glass, add bitters and muddle. Rotate the glass so the sugar/bitters mixture coats the glass. Add ice, Trail’s End and stir until blended. Top with a splash of club soda and garnish with orange wedge, fresh blackberries and thyme sprig.


Trail Dusted

1 oz. fresh white grapefruit juice
½ oz. Simple Syrup
2 slices of English cucumber, plus 3 or 4 thin slices for garnish
dash of celery bitters (optional)
2 oz. Trail’s End Bourbon Whiskey

Method: In a cocktail shaker, muddle 2 cucumber slices. Add ice and all of the remaining ingredients except the garnish and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with the thin cucumber slices.



Alpine Manhattan

1 ½ oz. Trail’s End Bourbon Whiskey
1 oz. Pine Syrup
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
orange twist, for garnish

Method: Fill a pint glass with ice. Add Trail’s End, pine syrup and bitters and stir well. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with the orange twist.