The Sisters Brothers beckoned me to Oregon City.
After reading Portland author Patrick deWitt’s brilliant novel, I wanted
another look at the place and perhaps a glass of brandy. The Pig-King,
unfortunately, has closed. But there is a McMenamins pub with a view of
the river and a very fine bottle of Alambic 13 brandy. McMenamins’
Edgefield Distillery made this spirit, aging pinot noir grapes for 13
years in French oak barrels. The bar served it warm by pouring the
brandy into a cognac glass that was then tilted onto its side and
suspended on the rim of a tumbler filled with boiling water. I had never
seen brandy served by this method, which the bartender called “an old
trick.” I admit the heat brought forth the essence of the stuff, a thick
backbone of grape with touches of vanilla, cinnamon and maple syrup. I
drank it slowly and left, not wishing to grow hoggish before exploring
this most curious town. Recommended.