Skip to main content

Spirit Review: Blue Flame Spirits Grappa


Hand Made Spirits Using Only Local Ingredients.

This weekend I was in Prosser, Washington at the annual Scottish Fest and Highlands Games. It seemed a larger more enthusiastic crowd this year. People were in a good mood and we enjoyed mingling with the Scots in kilts. Like last year, afterwards we wandered two buildings over to Kestrel Vintners and enjoyed premium Washington wine with a tasty and filling lunch.

Scottish Fest and Highland Games in Prosser.

Unlike last year, this year as we walked over to Kestrel I stopped at Blue Flame Spirits. Blue Flame Spirits is a Prosser distillery. They make Vodka, Gin, Wheat Whiskey, Rye Whiskey, Brandy and Grappa. I sampled their Vodka and Wheat Whiskey. As I was about to purchase a bottle of their Vodka, I saw bottles of Grappa against the wall. "Hold on. You have Grappa too?"

Brian Morton, owner Blue Flame Spirits.

Owner and distiller Brian Morton was pouring for me. He's a friendly guy with a big smile and warm personality. Our conversation shifted gears as I acknowledged my interest and limited Grappa experience. He said, "If you know what Grappa is, then you have to try it." Smile on my face as he opened a bottle and poured me a taste.

What is Grappa?

Last year in Penticton, British Columbia I was at an after party with an assortment of wine personalities. The room was filled with an even greater assortment of beverages. One of the bottles which caught my attention was a bottle of Italian Grappa. Yank. That was my first Grappa experience. It was rough. Grappa is an acquired taste. My first impression was "kerosene" with a "lighter fluid" aftertaste. Now one might think that an impression that strong would discourage me from trying Grappa a second time. Wrong. The next night there was another after party in the same place. Sitting alone, ignored by an even larger crowd was that same bottle of Grappa. Yes, I went back for more Grappa. Either that bottle had opened up in 24 hours or my palate was in a state of shock or maybe, maybe I was acquiring a taste for Grappa. It was better the next night. I enjoyed sipping Grappa that night.

Grappa is made from pomace. It is made by distilling the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems (i.e., the pomace) left over from winemaking after pressing the grapes. It was originally made to prevent waste by using these leftovers. It's a fragrant, grape-based pomace brandy of Italian origin. Grappa started being distilled about 400 years ago, once water began to be used as a coolant during the distillation process.

"Grappa is traditionally served at a cool temperature, with many people erring on the side of serving it too cold, because it can always be warmed with the hands until it releases its rich aroma. Typically, it is offered in a tulip shaped glass, and it may be drunk alone, or consumed with fruits, cheeses, and desserts. This beverage is typically served after a meal as a digestivo, in Italian parlance." Source: wiseGEEK
Grappa is not for everyone. It has a definite edge and rough quality. When I drink Grappa, I think of manly men hanging outside by a fire, after dinner, slinging back shots of Grappa while talking smack about conquests and adventures. It is not a dainty drink. You drink it straight. The Blue Flame Spirits version of Grappa, while still a bit edgy, was worlds smoother and more sophisticated than the Grappa I was introduced to last year. It lacks that heavy Kerosene quality.

Tasting Notes Blue Flame Spirits Grappa:

Color: Clear.
Nose: Resin with a subtle whiff of Kerosene in the background, almost sweet.
Palate: Creamy, oak, smooth, resin, with a spicy woody tart finish. Smooth burn.

Comment: It's not traditional, but I tried this Grappa on the rocks and liked it. It smoothed out the intense alcohol and emphasized an anise flavor I enjoyed. Recommended.

ABV: 40%/80 proof
375 ML
Purchased at winery: $40

Blue Flame Spirits
2880 Lee Rd, Prosser, WA 99350
(509) 778-4036


Blue Flame Spirits is a small batch distillery founded in 2009 and located in the small town of Prosser, Washington. They are situated in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. The numerous vineyards and farmlands surrounding the distillery provides the ideal location for making high quality, hand made spirits using nothing but local ingredients. Every ingredient used is grown within 45 miles of the front door. They support local agriculture and use the highest quality ingredients. I'm all for supporting local local.

Their Grappa won the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition a Gold Medal for it’s category, and their Ultra Premium Vodka won Gold in the 2012 Fifty Best Domestic Vodkas competition. Pretty cool. Brian invited me back to his distillery to watch them make Grappa later in the year. I'll take him up on that offer. Stop by this small distillery the next time you pass through Prosser.



Popular posts from this blog

Chateau St. Michelle, Indian Wells, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

Good Wine, Happy Camper Fall is settling on us quite rapidly. Today, our sunny afternoon was framed by ominous dark clouds lurking on the horizon north of us. It‘s unsettling how quickly the cool weather descends on SE Washington. That touch of autumn sunshine put me in the mood for grilling steaks tonight. I‘ll embrace the sun when I can. But, what good is steak without wine? On my way home, I grabbed a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. On a whim, I bought a wine I would not usually purchase; it was priced on sale for less that $15. My expectations were not high for the wine, I was just hoping for something palatable. Chateau St. Michelle Chateau St. Michelle, is a Washington winery - an Eastern and Western Washington winery. The St. Michelle winery and tasting room is located in Woodinville, Washington, just across lake Washington from Seattle. However, this wine is made in Patterson, Washington, from Columbia Valley grapes (Indian Wells series) at their attractive Columbia Crest

My Favorite Recipe | Flourless Chocolate Torte

Satisfying those chocolate cravings. My Instagram followers have seen me post photos ( @williampollardjr ) of my favorite dessert for over a year. Possibly, I've posted the original recipe to Instagram. If you ask, I usually do. After success and failures, I've learned that this dessert does not always deliver desired results. With some effort, I've figured out why, and the remedy. Yes, I've been gently tweaking the recipe. Adjusting ingredients. Modifying and streamlining the process. With mixed results. Confiding with my wife, she gave me a tip that finally nailed this recipe down. I'm happy to share this recipe with modifications. It's truly a lovely dessert. My favorite. Enjoy responsibly. Just out of the oven flourless chocolate torte. Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Torte An easy recipe to follow. You will need an oven, mixer, spring form pan and a double boiler. While you can eat this torte warm, I prefer to let it cool down and refrigera

The Best Sci-Fi Series You’re Not Watching. But I Am

The Ministry of Time/El Ministerio Del Tiempo History is under threat. Someone is attempting to alter the past. In response, a secret government organization is working to protect the sanctity of time. This group is the Ministry of Time. Agents of the ministry, are able to travel to different times and places via a deep well of stairs located in Madrid, Spain. From these stairs, innumerable doorways branch off to different periods of the past. Agents are recruited from other time periods, they work diligently to protect the history of Spain. And we get to go along for the thrilling ride. I’m changing up things today by recommending my favorite Spanish TV series. I found it accidentally, now I'm hooked. Improving my Spanish language comprehension Among my self-improvement efforts, there are many, one is to enhance my comprehension and speaking abilities of the Spanish language. With a neglected minor in Spanish, I’m embarrassed to have forgotten so much vocabulary and