Mt. Defiance is in an unassuming building that you would never know houses a distillery unless you were planning on going there or, you know, you read the sign over the door. What I’m saying is that if you’re just driving by, it probably won’t register as something special. But it should.
I enjoy the very occasional cider, and Paul drinks them even less frequently than I do. But the ciders here are GOOD. The Farmhouse was a little funky and stinky – in a good way – much like an actual farm. Maple Walnut was indeed maple-y and walnut-y, and now that I think about it, it tastes remarkably like an Irish Breakfast shot*. But it was the Ginger cider that blew us away. It wasn’t remotely sweet – it barely even tasted like apples. It was perfectly, tartly ginger, and it’s possible that we’ll crack it open the next time we have a sushi night. The Farmhouse is always on tap, and the Ginger is usually there, too. The third variety rotates on a regular basis. Mt. Defiance uses all local apples and as many other local ingredients as possible. To impart the strong flavors in their ciders, they co-ferment the apples with other fruits, and I assume this is why the Ginger is so packed with legit ginger flavor.
After our cider flight, we walked across the fermenting room to the liquor side of the building. Per ABC laws, the two different alcohols have to be served in different areas/buildings, just like we saw at Quattro Goomba’s. We all chose to do the absinthe flight, which means that we all had absinthe plus two other samples. And since we all wanted to try everything, we made sure that our plus twos were all different. Despite loving fennel, I actually didn’t enjoy the absinthe, personally – it was a bit too herbaceous for me. Judging by the pictures I took and the increasing illegibility of my notes, though, I enjoyed everything else, and I know that the boys enjoyed themselves, too.
Pro Tip: If you’re on a mixed booze trail, save the liquor for last. We’ll just leave it at that. Mostly because my memory is a little vague on our last stop (which, fortunately, was a repeat for me).
*I can’t say that I knew the name of this shot before googling “Jameson and orange juice” while writing this post. Almost all of the recipes I found include butterscotch schnapps, which wasn’t in the shot I had, but I imagine that it would only make it better. As nasty as the shot sounds, it tastes JUST LIKE pancakes and syrup. Cross my heart. But you could just try the Maple Walnut cider and call it a day.
Rating: Green! (We’ll totally come back.)
Tasting: $7 – $13 for flights of 3 spirits, $6 for 3 ciders
Price: $20 – $36 for spirits, $10 – $20 for cider
Kid Friendly: Yes, though I wouldn’t bring kids on this stop, personally.
Highlights: Absinthe. It’s worth the experience, if nothing else.
Time Since Lacy Last Ate: ~5.5 hours
Strangers Invited to Dinner: 0, but let’s just say that Paul finally got some of that payback that I’ve been promising him after spending the better part of two years watching him drink while I was pregnant. Yes, that’s right. Back-to-back babies mean two years of almost total sobriety, so he was definitely due for a little payback.