This past Tuesday, Raven & Rose did it again by holding an event dubbed Raven & Rye with James C. Russell, master distiller at the Wild Turkey Distillery where he served more than 50 years. Jimmy is carrying on the tradition from his grandfather, father, and which he passed to his son (who has also worked there more than 20 years now). Jimmy is so beloved at Wild Turkey, they named one of their finest products after him in 2000–the 10-year-old Russell’s Reserve – and it was going to be available at this event. The Raven and Rye event was an opportunity to meet Jimmy and besides the Russell’s Reserve, also provided a chance explore other Wild Turkey cocktails. Sounds dangerous right?
I was there… and here is the proof!
Spring has arrived in Portland and Raven & Rose, as well as new signs for Raven & Rose now hanging outside the beautiful historic building (which I had wrote a little about during my first visit for Beer with the Bird) which were new from my last visit:
I got to the Rookery around 4:15 and the barstools at the bar were already all full! I quickly snagged a table for my friends and I right by the entrance, and also because I saw that the table where the complimentary snacks courtesy of of Young’s Market Company of Oregon would only be a few steps away in their library area.
They were just bringing out some of the platters of Young’s Market Company of Oregon complimentary appetizers, so I was able to grab some photos before all the nibbling started. It was an impressive spread fit for the sophistication of the event. My favorites were the Rabbit Liverwurst on toast with grain mustard and the Roasted Beets and mint on Belgian endive with kumquats.
I was also able to take a sip of my friend’s beautiful cocktail, the Tyrone Road Punch with Wild Turkey rye, meyer lemon peel, chamomile, lemon myrtle, peppermint, lemon juice, and bitter lemon soda. I also took a sip from her Cocktail a la Louisiane with Wild Turkey rye, Benedictine, Dolin Rouge, Pacifique absinthe, and Peychaud’s bitters. From how many of these I saw in hand around the room, the Tyrone Road Punch was incredibly well received.
After trying all three (the other 2 were the Wild Turkey Rare Breed and the Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit Single Barrel, not my glasses but I got a little taste), my favorite was the Russell Reserve 10 year bourbon, for its caramel vanilla smoothness and tamer spice level at the finish.
Another great event at the Rookery! I already have plans for St Patrick’s, but Raven & Rose is also putting together quite the shindig including Irish cheese plate and Irish nettle soup and live Irish music and Jameson Irish whiskey flights if you have the opportunity!