Wildwood Spirits Co. Announces First Batch Release of The Dark Door Bourbon

The Dark Door - LR horiz

Advance Reservation Bottles Are Sold Out; Additional Bottles Will Be Available March 1st

After two years of patiently waiting, Wildwood Spirits Co., maker of Washington State’s most awarded gin and vodka, today announced the limited release of its first bourbon as the latest addition to the Wildwood portfolio of handcrafted spirits. 

The first run of The Dark Door, owner/distiller Erik Liedholm’s much-anticipated wheated bourbon, will be released on February 20th by private event to distillery patrons who reserved in advance.  The inaugural 100 bottles from the first barrel will be signed, hand-numbered and distributed in ascending numerical order by reservation number.  The remaining 200 bottles, also from the first barrel, will be available beginning March 1st.  A forthcoming release from the second barrel is scheduled for late May. 

Beginning March 1st, The Dark Door can be sampled and purchased for $50 + tax (750ml bottle) in the Wildwood Spirits Co. tasting room in Bothell or online at http://www.wildwoodspiritsco.com/ShopOnline

“The production of bourbon is not an immediate gratification endeavor, but seeing how something you made evolves over two years is incredibly satisfying,” commented co-owner and head distiller of Wildwood Spirits Co, Erik Liedholm.  “Alas, to get all the aroma and flavor components we wanted, we were forced to be patient.”

Wheated bourbons typically embody a lighter, more delicate flavor profile than its high-rye cousin.  The Dark Door reflects these characteristics, also displaying rich confectionary notes of caramel, vanilla and brown sugar with lifted floral notes.

The Dark Door bourbon was handcrafted in small batches using locally sourced organic and non-GMO ingredients, including 80 percent corn and 20 percent wheat, and entered the barrel at 120 proof and bottled at 90 proof.  The bourbon was aged to perfection in carefully selected oak barrels from a small, artisanal cooperage in Higbee, Missouri specializing in wine cooperage.  Because interaction between the oak and bourbon is one of the most important components in the production process, Liedholm selected a cooperage that grows and fells trees responsibly, and looks upon the manufacture of its barrels as a craft.  The resulting barrels are two times more expensive than mass-produced whiskey barrels, but produce more interesting aromatic and flavor components.   Although the barrels are only used once to make bourbon, Liedholm plans to reuse them to craft an Irish-style whiskey. 

Origin of The Dark Door

The Dark Door was named for the dark wood front door of Liedholm’s childhood home in East Lansing, Michigan – the same house featured on the Wildwood Spirits Co. logo.

“Whether it was cloudy or sunny outside, that large, imposing door seemed to hold deep, dark secrets and never lost any of its grand majesty,” commented Liedholm.  “It still looms large in memories from my childhood, and now emblazoned as the mystical, magical emblem of The Dark Door.”

Portfolio of Wildwood Spirits Co. Products

  • Kur Gin (pronounced ‘cure’) is made in the London Dry Gin style and produced with Washington heirloom variety red winter wheat that emphasizes a backbone of classic juniper aromas and flavors with subtle citrus (Seville orange), as well as Douglas Fir and Braeburn apples from Erik Liedholm’s backyard. 
  • Läka (Swedish for heal) is a bold London Dry style gin with intense aromas and the flavors of citrus and exotic spice.  Made with locally sourced produce and the same botanicals as its very popular sibling, Läka uses a more traditional method of botanical infusion to the base spirit and the result is a more aggressive aromatic flavor profile.
  • Stark Vatten Vodka (Swedish for ‘strong water’) is produced with Washington heirloom variety red winter wheat and pure, filtered water to create a clean, viscous, oily vodka that displays a definitive classic European style while remaining a distinctive local product.
  • Ärande Grappa (Swedish for ‘tribute’ or ‘homage,’), introduced in January 2018, is a limited release available only in the Wildwood Spirits Co. tasting room.  Made from the finest Chenin Blanc grape pomace from Washington’s Columbia Gorge, Ärande showcases the attributes of this grape, as well as aromas and flavors of red apple and white flowers.  

Wildwood Spirits Co. – Where Science Meets Art and Art Solves Thirst

Wildwood Spirits Co. employs a grain-to-glass philosophy, blending ‘farm to table’ and vineyard to bottle’ to create distillates in a unique and distinctive ‘farm to distillery’ fashion.  Kur, Läka, Stark Vatten, Ärande and The Dark Door are inspired by a Chef and a Sommelier’s passion, combined with the pragmatism of science.  Wildwood Spirits Co. uses Washington State produce and sources nearly all its ingredients from local farms.

Wildwood Spirits Co., named for the street in East Lansing, Michigan where Liedholm grew up, is a partnership between co-owners Liedholm and Chef Howie, and part of the John Howie Restaurant

Group.  Wildwood Spirits Co. is located in Bothell at The Village at Beardslee Crossing, 19116 Beardslee Boulevard, Suite 102, adjacent to Beardslee Public House.  The Village is along Beardslee Boulevard, at the NE 195th Street and I-405 interchange at Exit 24.  For more information, visit http://www.wildwoodspiritsco.com/.

About The John Howie Restaurant Group:

The John Howie Restaurant Group includes some of the Seattle Area’s most prominent restaurants: Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar (Bellevue, 2002); SPORT Restaurant & Bar (Seattle, 2005); John Howie Steak (Bellevue, 2009); In.gredients (Microsoft Redmond campus, 2014), Beardslee Public House (Bothell, 2015); and Wildwood Spirits Co. (Bothell, 2015).  Ranging from casual, honest cooking establishments to fine dining, the restaurants are renowned for infusing innovation into evolving seasonal menus that feature the highest quality, sustainable meat and seafood with locally sourced ingredients.

Along with being the chef/owner of the John Howie Restaurant Group, John Howie was nominated Outstanding Restaurateur by the James Beard Foundation Awards in 2013 and has been invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House five times.  He is also author of the cookbook Passion & Palate: Recipes for a Generous Table.  Chef Howie represents Washington state annually at the Super Bowl in The Taste of the NFL, and is a sought-after culinary expert featured in local and national media, including Martha Stewart Living, The Today Show, The CBS Early Morning Show, Cooking Channel, Food Network, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Chef Howie and his restaurants are as recognized for philanthropic generosity as they are for culinary achievements.  Since 2002, the John Howie Restaurant Group has received numerous awards for philanthropy and community involvement, and has given more than $6 million to hundreds of charitable organizations.

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