The Ultimate Guide to Touring the Oregon Wine Country Whiskey Trail

We spent a beautiful week in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, touring distilleries, tasting whiskey, and experiencing everything that the new Wine Country Whiskey Trail has to offer. We’re excited to share our favorite whiskeys, distillery tours, and bottle finds with you.

WINE COUNTRY WHISKEY TRAIL // The Ultimate Guide to Whiskey Tasting and Distillery Tours in Oregon

When you think about Oregon’s Willamette Valley, you might think of sun-drenched vineyards, aromatic hop farms, or agriculture as far as the eye can see. Hidden in this gorgeous landscape is an emerging distillery scene, and six distillers have banded together to create the new passport program for the Wine Country Whiskey Trail. All of the distilleries are within a 45-minute drive of one another, so the tour can be completed without a major time commitment. Once you’ve received your passport stamp at each distillery, you’ll receive a gift for completing the Trail.

We’ll introduce you to each of these distilleries, as well as several other opportunities for wine, food, and exploring.

Branch Point Distillery

Branch Point has a modern, gorgeous tasting room buffeted on one side by a field of barley which will soon become their very own delicious whiskey. Branch Point distills their spirits in a gorgeous Vendome double pot still from Kentucky, which gives their whiskeys a distinctive flavor. They also use a very unusual grain, triticale. Triticale is a wheat/rye hybrid, originally from Scotland. Visitors are sure to find something to like in Branch Point’s extensive lineup of whiskeys. Branch Point also features flights that include mini cocktails. The miniature martini glasses might be the most adorable thing in all of wine country.

Brixeur Spirits

This is a truly idyllic place to enjoy whiskey or wine. Brixeur Spirits is the distilling arm of Trisaetum Winery. While they may be relatively new to distilling, their bold experimentation, dedication to unique flavors, and eye for detail make them a must-visit. Call ahead to book a private tasting in the vineyard cottage, or simply show up to the tasting room and enjoy a sip on the outdoor patio. Try a gin with more than 20 botanicals, many of which are grown on the property. Sip a cask strength rye whiskey that was finished in used riesling barrels or a bourbon that was finished in used cabernet barrels. From exquisite wines to thoughtful, original cocktails, Brixeur is a dream location for whiskey and wine enthusiasts.

Bull Run Distilling Co.

Upon entering Bull Run’s Carlton Post tasting room, you might initially feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The charming brick building with the huge old wooden bar top invites you to carefully peruse the extensive list of spirits. Bull Run is one of Oregon’s oldest distilleries, and their expertise shows in everything they produce. Seriously well-aged American whiskeys, wine barrel-finished whiskeys, brandy, and so much more await your visit. Some of our favorite whiskeys can be found right in this tasting room. Be sure to try the Carlton Rye Whiskey if you’re a rye lover and the maple-infused whiskey if you have a sweet tooth. Bolder palates might be drawn to some of the most well-aged American Single Malt whiskeys available on the market today. No matter what flavors you gravitate toward, Bull Run has something for everyone.

Ewing Young Distillery

A truly unique experience awaits you at Ewing Young Distillery. The short drive in is lined with a canopy of old growth trees. A thoroughbred horse farm with plenty of animals surrounds the distillery property. Try to spot the enormous, ancient oak tree. Ewing Young was buried here in 1841, and the acorn this tree sprouted from was placed to mark his grave in 1846. The distillery itself is country quaint, with a shaded seating area next to the barn, picnic tables, and reclining chairs lining a tranquil pond. At Ewing Young Distillery, you’ll find an extensive and ever-changing spirits list, from delicious, unique gin to cask strength whiskeys. Enjoy an old fashioned cocktail made with 7-year aged rye whiskey, or an Arnold Palmer, made with their delicious bourbon. In the heat of summer, you’ll find snow cones here, and you can add one of their spirits for a tasty frozen cocktail. A whiskey flight is a great way to try all of their offerings, including wine barrel-finished whiskeys and barrel strength bourbon. Ewing Young Distillery is a great place to slow down and enjoy a sip or two.

Killdeer Distilling

Killdeer is named for the small birds who inhabit the farm, whose song sounds like they’re singing “killdeer!” Colin and Kate converted a sheep barn into a tranquil farm distillery, complete with cats who greet you upon arrival. No two batches of spirits are ever the same at this truly inspired craft distillery. We enjoyed tasting gin, bourbon, rye, absinthe, and a genuinely amazing coffee liqueur. Find a shady spot on the patio, watch the sheep and chickens wandering the grounds, and enjoy a very unique experience.

Ransom Spirits

The grounds at Ransom Spirits are like something out of a fairy tale. From the tree growing right up through the large wooden deck, to the vineyards that flank it on the front and back, to the various fruit trees and flowers that line the driveway, this is a beautiful location for a tasting. Ransom Spirits is part of Duck Pond Cellars. If you like pinot, you’re in luck, as nearly all of Ransom’s spirits are aged in used pinot barrels. One especially unique whiskey that Ransom produces is The Emerald, 1865. This whiskey features a found recipe from 1865 for an Irish whiskey and is a truly unique and delicious expression.

Non-Whiskey Experiences

There’s much more than whiskey on the Wine Country Whiskey Trail. Here are a few side trips that are worth experiencing.

Bierly Brewing
One thing that’s always worth stopping for in Oregon, is beer. Bierly Brewing is an extremely rare type of brewery. All of their beer and food is 100% gluten free. We thoroughly enjoyed their India Pale Lager, soft pretzels, cheddar biscuits, onion rings, and of course, donuts. Don’t leave without a maple bar!

Celestial Hill Vineyard
When in wine country, drink wine! We met up with some friends and enjoyed a lovely tasting around the corner from Bull Run’s Carlton Post tasting room. Carlton is a very walkable town with great food and wine on every block. At Celestial Hill Vineyard’s tasting room, we enjoyed rosé, multiple pinots, and more. There are plenty of wineries and tasting rooms, so take your pick.

There’s plenty of good food in the area, but we found two favorites. In Dundee, Red Hills Market is a great stop for an open faced sandwich or a toasted sub. Don’t stress too much about what to order. Everything on the menu seems to be delicious. And in Carlton, Park & Main has a fantastic, extensive menu with wood-fired pizza, sandwiches, and much more. Don’t leave without at least taking a peek at the ice cream choices. If you’re lucky, you might find butter pecan infused with Bull Run Distilling Co.’s bourbon.

Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum
This one is impossible to miss. Evergreen has a huge campus with giant planes parked on all sides. There’s even a plan parked on top of one of the buildings, which happens to be a water park. This is a great half day stop for airplane and space enthusiasts of all ages, but the main attraction here is the one and only Spruce Goose. This is Howard Hughes’s plane, the largest wooden aircraft ever to fly. It dwarfs the rest of the collection, and is worth the price of admission all on it’s own.

The Dundee
The lodging partner for the Wine Country Whiskey Trail, the Dundee Hotel is perfectly-located, right in the heart of everything. Walking distance to food options, and an easy drive from every location on this list, the Dundee features spacious, well-appointed rooms in a quiet boutique environment. A restaurant is opening here later in 2023, which will make this location an even more perfect place to stay for your Wine Country Whiskey Trail visit.

Plan your Wine Country Whiskey Trail visit today at and tell them The Bourbon Van sent you!