Whidbey Island is a peaceful and relaxing escape, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in fun and unique activities for you and your wedding guests to enjoy! Our island is home to many talented artisans, and our team had the opportunity to meet with the creative and passionate people behind Whidbey Island Distillery this week.
Whidbey Island Distillery is a small but mighty hand-crafted distillery located in Langley, Washington, on the south end of our island. Located just five miles from the Clinton Ferry, Whidbey Island Distillery is set on nine beautiful acres of forest and open field. Founded by the Heising Family in 2009, Whidbey Island Distillery is a genuine example of how heart and soul can result in something incredible.
Your experience begins in the parking lot! The moment I stepped from my car, I could smell the berry goodness that was happening down in the bunker. The bunker itself is a unique and fun experience, the perfect cozy and intimate setting for learning about and sampling the Distillery’s delicious liqueurs and their Bunker Rye Whiskey.
We had the joy of learning about the Distillery from its general manager, Mike Huffman. Mike is a warm and welcoming host whose passion and love for his work is obvious. He shared the history of the property with us, including some fun facts about the bunker (I love that the still room was once a child’s bedroom). From there we moved in to the still room, where distilling happens 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
There is much precision and science that goes in to the process of distilling, and Mike is extremely knowledgeable about every step. As this was my first distillery tour, I appreciated the way he was able to break down the process and explain in a way that I could understand. Whidbey Island Distillery is all about the craft of distilling. They are devoted to their partnerships with local farmers and wineries, and are proud of the fact that at least 50% of the ingredients they use are from Washington State. Their love for our local community, and their emphasis on honoring distilling traditions, makes this a very special place. Mike described their distilling process as “art, science and heart” and those elements are evident in Whidbey Island Distillery’s people and products. And you feel all this before you even get to tasting!
Tasting was a fun conclusion to our tour. We began with the Bunker Rye Whiskey, and I appreciated Mike’s gentle guidance on how to approach it. The Bunker Rye Whiskey was actually my first experience with whiskey and I feel pretty lucky that I had it in the bunker for which it is named! From there we moved on to the Distillery’s very popular berry liqueurs: blackberry (my personal favorite), raspberry, and loganberry. Any of Whidbey Island Distillery’s liqueurs would be excellent in a signature cocktail or champagne toast at your wedding, while adding a unique and delicious local spin to share with your guests!
Amazing things are happening in the bunker at Whidbey Island Distillery. A tour and tasting should definitely be on the short list for your time on Whidbey Island! The Distillery’s Bunker Tasting Room is open daily from 11 am to 5 pm. Come to Whidbey Island Distillery and enjoy meeting the people behind the craft and learning how they do it, one drop at a time.