On a recent trip through Maine to the Bangor area, we stopped at Tree Spirits Winery & Distillery, located in Oakland, ME. They have a nice little shop with a bar and stools for a tasting area.
Owner Bruce Olsen has been making wine since 1977. Around 2009 he began experimenting with distilling his wines to make Brandy and other spirits. In 2012 they expanded the business and their offerings.
There were two tastings available, with and without Absinthe. Each tasting included 5 offerings of your choice.
Pear Extra Dry
Sparkling wine, a little dry with a subtle pear taste.
Apple Picnic Wine
Light, crisp, not too dry but not too sweet. Perfect.
Apple Extra Dry
Lots of fizz and sparkle. Sweet with apple taste, they say ‘delicious and crisp’, we agree! We went home with a bottle of this one.
Very sweet and juice like. Originally developed as a mixer, but some people liked it so much people do both with it, use it as a mixer and drink it straight. Definitely a fun summer drink mixer. We bought a bottle, will probably do both with it. Made with their Applejack, pomegranate juice, lime juice, ginger bitters.
Blend of their Maple Wine and Knotted Maple Spirits. Interesting maple flavor, Megan said sweet like syrup. Has a good taste, that sugary taste with a bite of booze, we both liked it, and bought 2 bottles.
This is made as essentially a type of Brandy, though it can not be called Brandy because Brandy has to be distilled from grape wine. It was originally made it clear, but people didn’t want Brandy that was clear, they expected it to be brownish. They started barrel aging it for 2 months just to give it that color. We actually like the clear, unaged version better. Smelled and tasted a little bit more fruity.
Maple Jack L- finished product, R- before being barrel aged
Knotty Maple – 80 proof
Strong alcohol taste with a light maple finish. It has a good taste, not too sweet which is good. It is basically a brandy, but not distilled from a grape made wine.
Absinthe Verte – 130 proof
The only asbinthe produced in New England, and one of only a few produced in the US. They start with their Applejack and use organic herbs — anise, fennel, wormwood, petite wormwood, hyssop and lemon balm. Megan tasted this, very strong straight. It was then mixed with sugar water for us and it was much tastier then.
The owner was the one serving us, and was very welcoming and knowledgeable, of course. He told us a lot about the spirits and wines, the process and the story behind them. He was a good storyteller, which made the tasting not only tasty, but informative and fun.
With their set up, it is easier to create more spirits than wines.
Still in the back room.
Want to visit?
Wednesday – Saturday: 12:00 – 5:30
As always, check Facebook or their website for updated hours. Hours may
be different during the winter
Other Places Nearby:
Dragonfly Farm and Winery, Stetson, ME
Oak Pond Brewing Company, Skowhegan, ME
The Liberal Cup Public House and Brewing Company, Hallowell, ME