The Hangar One Tour

Thursday, February 15, 2007

About two weeks ago, Rob and I made the perilous trip down to Alameda to check out the Hangar One distillery and meet up with the good folks of Hedonia and In Praise of Sardines. I call it perilous because the roads and sidewinding ways of Alameda pissed me off to the point that Rob and me almost turned around to go back home. Seriously Alameda, fix it.

Hangar One is a small distillery that works in small batches to create truly awesome eau de vies, specialty vodkas, and creative spirits. They pride themselves in using localized ingredients, such as Buddha's hand, kaffir limes, mandarin blossoms, and in the works... chipotle pepper (all these from grape based vodkas of course!).

Upon entering Rob and I were treated to a small glass of Qi, a liquor based on Lapsang Souchong tea. The tea itself is like black coffee, you have to get used to the flavor. I am and love the burnt cedary taste, but in liquor it takes on new properties of spice and maybe a bit of cocoa. It' was good but at the same time, bitter and dark. Something to get used to for sure, but the smell was intoxicating and lingered well.

The vodkas each extrapolate some beautiful flavors; for instance the raspberry has the audacity to pleasantly surprise you with a real fruity flavor and no candy like artificial flavorings. Meanwhile, the Buddha's hand was very fragrant and citric.

The tour was informative and very well run. The guide was hilarious and knew her stuff. Props indeed. My only complaint would be the tour seemed awfully short. I suppose if you are in the area, drop by and check it out. Sacramento area people, is it worth the drive? Yeah, I would say so; getting there is a bitch, but we were very happy we did. The tour is all standing the whole way though, due to this Rob threw his back out pretty hard (this was compounded on working to much the past few days) and we had to take him home and miss out on our dinner plans.

It's fun, educational, and a chance to get a little bit tipsy at 1pm on a Saturday. Total snaps.


  1. Sounds like fun; I love boozy tours! Take care of your man and his back.

  2. And their tasting room has one of the nicest views of San Francisco and the Bay Bridge.


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