Skip to main content

Whiskey Barrel Aged Tea is Something We Can All Drink To

Barrel Aged Tea
Portland’s Steven Smith Teamaker is known for sourcing some of the highest quality teas of any purveyor in the country.

The company has built a reputation creating exciting blends and unique collections. Their latest is the next iteration of their sought-after Barrel-Aged Collection.

Related Videos

Smith’s head teamaker, Tony Tellin, worked with two local distilleries to age a black and yaupon tea in whiskey and brandy barrels respectively.


“I was offered a whiskey barrel from one of our neighbors and a brandy barrel from another,” he says. “Then, after a lot of tasting, negotiation and logistics we landed on a smoked tea from Zheijang, China and the yaupon leaves from Catspring, Texas.”

These whiskey-barrel gifting neighbors happen to be two of Portland’s top distilleries – House Spirits and Stone Barn Brandyworks. The “Wuyi Whiskey” varietal is a smoked tea aged in Westward Whiskey barrels, while the “Yaupon Brandy” is aged in an apple brandy barrel.

“I like to think of the Wuyi as a tea for Ron Burgundy. It pairs well with mahogany furniture, leather bound books, etc.,” he says.

He adds that the Yaupon really took on the character of the brandy, while not being too watery or weak. Both are as much reflective of the original barrel liquid as they are as their own finished products.tea

The Wuyi drinks like a scotch with an almost cigar-like front, smoky nose and rich finish. The Yaupon is delicate and really carries the apple, peach and pear notes from Stone Barn, while retaining plenty of traditional tea flavor.

As for future projects, Tellin plans to continue to the collaboration series into next year and beyond. Although he won’t disclose what those teas are as of yet, you can be sure that they’ll be partnerships that continue to push the boundaries of flavor and fusion.

The Wuyi varietal is now sold out, but limited boxes of the Yaupon are available here.

Editors' Recommendations

Love bubble tea but not the price? How to make this delicious drink at home
Boba tea: Learn how to create this trendy drink, including its signature tapioca pearls, at home
what is bubble tea history best flavors flavored getty images

While it originated in Taiwan in the 1980s, bubble tea's popularity has absolutely exploded worldwide in recent years. Where frozen yogurt shops and smoothie stores once reigned supreme, bubble tea cafes have swooped in and taken over the world of these on-the-go sweet treats. These days, you can hardly throw a rock without hitting one of these trendy spots. So what's all the fuss about? What is boba tea, exactly? And better yet, is there a way for you to save money by making your own version at home?

What is bubble tea?
Bubble tea is a chilled, sweetened tea drink containing "boba" (bubbles) made from tapioca flour. The popularity of this beverage is undoubtedly, at least in part, due to its uniqueness. While almost every other beverage is simply liquid, bubble tea is different because of the texture of the tapioca bubbles. This creates a totally new drinking experience, which is always a plus in the world of food trends.

Read more
These American wineries are haunted and downright terrifying
Wineries attract ghosts, after all they often occupy dark old historical buildings. Here are some of the most haunted labels
Haunted Winery

Wineries and haunted buildings go hand in glove. It's an industry full of eerie cellars, foggy vineyards, long and lonely hours during harvest, and often set in remote, mysterious locales.

While some tasting rooms and barrel rooms offer scary sounds, others offer chilling tales that don't seem rational. Some wineries just seem to attract paranormal activity, whether due to occupying the site of an older murder or being occupied by a resident ghost that just doesn't want to leave. Wine, after all, is all about the senses, so we've taken the liberty to stir some of them up, Halloween-style.

Read more
All the new whiskies you need to drink this fall
Fall means the return to great brown spirits like whiskey — Here are the bottles to get your paws on
WhistlePig 18 Double Malt Rye

Fall means a lot of things, from significant changes in fashion to heftier fare on our plate. In the glass, it often means transitioning from summery spirits like rum and bright wines like Pinot Grigio to deeper, darker options. The cooler days are prime time for whiskey, especially now that we have a new single malt category to celebrate.

As whiskey fans through and through, there's really no bad time for the stuff. However, fall's shift to brisker conditions really welcome the warmth and lasting flavors of whiskey. Here are seven options to hand your whiskey-loving hat on.
St. George Spirits Single Malt - $100
California's foremost distillery has actually been making a mean single malt since 2000. This release, named Lot 22, drops at the end of October and is one of the most sought-after releases St. Georges puts out. It's incredible, with balance and finesse for ages. If you can't get your hands on the stuff, look out for a close second in the brand's Baller Single Malt release.

Read more