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Inside Alaska's newest distillery, Port Chilkoot

Port Chilkoot Distillery, in Haines, Alaska, has been in operation for 18 months and is producing vodka and whisky.
Heather Lende photo
Port Chilkoot Distillery, in Haines, Alaska, has been in operation for 18 months and is producing vodka and whisky. Here, its Icy Strait Vodka.
Heather Lende photo
Fresh whiskey in "nosing" glasses at Port Chilkoot Distillery, in Haines, Alaska. The distillery has been in operation for 18 months and is producing vodka and whisky.
Heather Lende photo
The Port Chilkoot Distillery, in Haines, Alaska, is located in the historic Fort Seward area. The distillery has been in operation for 18 months and is producing vodka and whisky.
Heather Lende photo
The distillery is housed in a former bakery that dates back to 1904. Port Chilkoot Distillery, in Haines, Alaska, has been in operation for 18 months and is producing vodka and whisky.
Heather Lende photo
Owner Heather Shade with a custom built still at the Port Chilkoot Distillery, in Haines, Alaska. The business has been in operation for 18 months and is producing vodka and whisky.
Heather Lende photo
Vodka coming out of the still at the Port Chilkoot Distillery, in Haines, Alaska. The business has been in operation for 18 months and is producing vodka and whisky.
Heather Lende photo
Port Chilkoot Distillery, in Haines, Alaska, has been in operation for 18 months and is producing vodka and whisky.
Heather Lende photo
Heather Lende

Mike Borcik thinks customers anywhere who buy mid to higher-end spirits should appreciate the newest Alaska-made vodka. “The price should be in the mid-30s, and for a vodka of this quality, it’ll be a good seller.” Icy Strait Vodka will be in stores and bars across the state in the next few weeks and should be easy to find. The dramatic nautical-themed label, featuring a writhing red octopus, was designed by Haines artist Laura Rogers and would fit right in on a shelf next to “Moby Dick.”

The Port Chilkoot Distillery is the latest addition to Alaska’s budding micro-distillery industry, joining tiny Ursa Major in Fairbanks; Bare Distillery, the makers of Truuli Vodka in Anchorage; High Mark in Sterling, and the largest and oldest, Alaska Distillery (formerly Glacier Creek) in Wasilla, which uses melted glacial ice in their vodka.

HEATHER LENDE: No stop lights yet but Haines, Alaska makes vodka