I think we just sent out an email about the Clear Creek raspberry liqueur by accident, but this is what we meant to notify you about: the very, very, very special Clear Creek Framboise eau-de-vie. Steve McCarthy dropped me a line a few weeks back to let me know he had made a batch of raspberry brandy this year. It's not something he does automatically -- and for good reason: it takes almost 80 pounds of raspberries to make one half-bottle of this eau-de-vie. Steve also told me he was pretty sure this year's framboise was the best he's ever made.
The nose on this framboise is unbelievable. It might be one of the all-time great noses in the history of spirits. You just want to bury your face in it and stay there forever. It's a pure, fresh, fragrant, and juicy raspberry aroma, unadulterated by alcohol or any obtrusive esters. The palate doesn't quite live up to the nose, but that would be like asking Steve to move heaven and earth. Nothing could ever live up to that bouquet. The fruit is there, the floral and flowery flavors in a flurry. Sipping a glass of this would be an amazing way to end a fantastic meal. It was a fantastic way to end my lunch today.
The price obviously reflects the time and care put into the spirit -- a half-bottle will cost you $49.99, making this a $100 per bottle raspberry brandy. But it's worth it. It's more than worth it. Steve sourced all the fruit locally from Sauvie Island outside Portland and turned hundreds of pounds worth of raspberries into the most haunting of spirits.
There isn't a whole lot of this, but there probably doesn't need to be. Fruit spirits don't get the respect they deserve, unfortunately. I took one whiff, however, and plopped down my credit card.
This is a masterpiece.
(and the lighting in our spirits bar couldn't have been more perfect for a photo with the sunbeam coming through the crack behind the Bordeaux map!)