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Gin, a Gin and Tonic Style Gin, and a Barrel Rested Gin, all built on a wheat vodka base. The Martini Style Gin offers brisker, woodsier notes, while the Gin and Tonic Style Gin is a lusher, more contemporary style. The Barrel Finished Gin layers spicy, caramelized notes from used bourbon and rye casks atop the Martini Gin, amped up with a little more warm spice and juniper. All of the grains Scratch uses are organic and sourced from nearby Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill in Burlington, Washington. The potatoes come from Warden, Washington, on the other side of the cascades, and arrive in bulk sacks as potato flour. Even many of the botanicals are procured from local farms, although some, like peppercorns, pose insurmountable cultivation challenges to even the most intrepid Northwest farmers and must be imported. Kim says starting with three different vodkas was a great way to get acquainted with her equipment, develop a feel for the process, and start out with more than a single solitary product in the tasting room “Vodka doesn’t require recipe approval,” explains Kim, “So I wanted to start with that in the beginning. And, by having three vodkas, it was more interesting in the tasting room. It made it possible to do comparison tastings, just like wine.” According to Kim, Washington State’s recent move from state control to privatization has made it more challenging to sell craft spirits through grocery stores and liquor stores. “With privatization, it became a lot harder to count on out-of-tastingroom sales,” says Kim. “Right now, we do 85% of our business out of our tasting room.” Synergy from neighboring businesses, including a bar, a restaurant, and an art museum, contribute to a steady flow of foot traffic. Building on their popular tasting room as well as their reputation for gin, the Karricks designed a class called GINology that lets participants formulate their own custom gin from a palette of more than 30 different individually vapor-distilled botanicals, ranging from traditional flavors like juniper, coriander, and angelica root, to quirky notes like cardamom and rose geranium. After the class, participants get to take home a personalized bottle of their very own gin, and Scratch stores the recipes so they can order another round down the road. “We’ve made a lot of gin converts,” laughs Kim. What’s next for Scratch? Gin and vodka aren’t going anywhere, but the Karricks are excited to collaborate more with their craft beverage neighbors. Kim has already made a spirit from Breakaway IPA, a hoppy ale made by Edmonds’ American Brewing Company, and she’s excited to experiment more with distilled beer and whiskey as well as potential crossovers with cider and wine makers. Scratch also released its very first whiskey in January 2018, which sold out in a month. The next whiskey release is slated for November, and Kim says she’s planning to make more next year. It turns out she was right all along: the possibilities truly are endless.

Scratch Distillery is located in Edmonds, WA. For more information visit www.scratchdistillery.com or call (425) 673-7046. 102 

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Artisan Spirit: Spring 2018  
Artisan Spirit: Spring 2018  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.