ADAIR VILLAGE, Ore. — A local distillery honors America’s fallen soldiers in its own unique way.
The owner of 4 Spirits Distillery has just bottled up his first batch of bourbon whiskey, but to him, those bottles of liquor are more than just his next business venture, it’s another way for him to pay tribute to fallen soldiers.
The inspiration behind the name 4 Spirits comes from deep inside Dawson Officer’s heart.
Four of his army comrades from his deployment in Iraq didn’t make it home with him.
“It was devastating for all of us and a very dark time when we were over there,” said 4 Spirits Distillery Owner Dawson Officer.
The four soldiers, Spec. Justin Linden, Sgt. Justin Eyerly, Sgt. David Roustum, and Lt. Erik McCrae, in the 2nd Battalion of the 162nd Infantry Regiment all died in combat. But Dawson hasn’t, and never will forget.
“I made it back and lived, and these guys didn’t so what a better way to give purpose to life is to give back,” Dawson said.
He wears their names on a band around his wrist, named his company in their honor, and now his new bourbon is a tribute to them, and every other fallen soldier.
“It’s supposed to be inspirational, it’s supposed to remind people that we’re still fighting wars and soldiers are still dying and it’s important to remember them and honor them as best as we can,” Dawson said.
“This is something that he is just truly, truly passionate about and this was a very meaningful experience to open this distillery in their honor,” said 4 Spirits Distillery Sales and Marketing Director Sarah Wayt.
He’s even had the bottle designed so that everyone who drinks it will remember those our country has lost.
“It has a soldiers cross, which represents a dead soldier, it’s very sensitive and it’s very iconic image for military service members,” Dawson said.
4 Spirits has only been open for about a year and has already been awarded a silver metal in the world spirits competition for its Slaptail and Webfoot vodka.
Dawson’s first batch of bourbon whiskey is expected to hit store shelves next week.
“It’s got nice flavor, it’s got nice notes, you’ll be able to taste the vanilla and the caramel in there,” Dawson said.
Dawson plans to donate at least ten percent of his profits to benefit veterans services in Oregon.
You can get your first taste of the new bourbon this weekend at the Bounty of Benton County.