ROSLYN, WASH. — It was a major coal producing town, and a set for the hit TV show Northern Exposure, and more recently, The Man in the High Castle.
Roslyn, Washington's past is easy to see in its streets lined with historic buildings. And there's a new place sharing the spirit of this town’s heritage.
Longtime local and former mayor Jeri Francisco-Porter summed up this place’s personality: "It was a hustling bustling place, wild west for a long time, and look at where it is now. We're still kind of wild!"
Heritage Distilling Company's fourth tasting room opened in Roslyn in a building with a fascinating history.
"It's the Company Store. It’s like ‘I Owe my Soul to the Company Store’!” explained Francisco-Porter, referring to the Tennessee Ernie Ford song about a destitute coal miner. Heritage Distilling is housed in the building that once was the store where miners would buy food, clothing, and staples to survive, taking store credit against future paychecks.
The old store still has its old metal exterior shutters, meant to fend off angry mobs during mining strikes.
Porter’s family goes back 6 generations in this town. Heritage Distilling Company honored hers, and other longtime local families, by putting their names on the new stills that shine in this tasting room.
They’re called Hillbilly Stills – a company in Kentucky makes them.
“One of my favorite parts is on the temperature gauge it says cold, hot, hotter than H-E double hockey sticks!” laughed Hannah Hanley of Heritage Distilling Company as she showed off the tasting room, where the old blends effortlessly with the new.
Visitors can sample flights of spirits, stock their home bars in the retail space, even make a barrel of their own personalized spirits by joining 'The Cask Club'.
"Our goal is to make it very warm and inviting and we want people to hang out for a while,” Hanley said.
You can even support the town with a purchase: “We have a special whiskey that we call Roslyn Reserve Bourbon and a portion of the proceeds from the bottle sales of this go to the Roslyn Downtown Association," Hanley explained.
Heritage Distilling Company is a perfect match for the work hard, play hard ethos that has always been part of this place:
"It fits right in with what our history has been and will it will continue to be,” said Porter-Francisco.
And Roslyn is making its new neighbor feel right at home.
"We are very impressed by the support that we received from the community. Just an outpouring of people who are happy to have us in town and really showing that by coming back over and over again. It's amazing!” said Hanley.
Heritage Distilling Company in Roslyn, WA is open 7 days a week, and located at 101 Pennsylvania Ave.