Colorado's artisan distillers are a cottage industry, and continue to garner national media attention. The latest article to focus on Palisade's Peach Street Distillers is Denver's indie alternative newspaper, Westword.
Under the title, "In the Still of the Night," Westword Food Writer Jason Sheehan writes:
"Everyone knows that Colorado boasts an impressive array of OCD microbrewers getting all freaky with their hops and barley. Everyone knows that if you're a serious beer snob, there's no better place than Denver to indulge your pretentiousness. But frankly, what really gets me going is the new mini-boom in Colorado micro-distilleries — artisan producers who've gone beyond the ubiquitousness of the neighborhood brewery and moved straight into the hard stuff."
"Stranahan's is one of the best known, and I do love me some Stranahan's whiskey. Irish or no, I put it up there among Jameson, Kilbeggan and Bushmills as one of my favorites. Small batch, locally made — it's some serious artisan spirit, and therefore makes me feel like I'm doing good just by getting hammered. And what with the facility being located right at 2405 Blake Street, I'm not just staying true to the localvore's hundred-mile rule, but occasionally to something like a hundred-yard rule."
"Out in Palisade, Peach Street Distillers does lots of different things, including fruit-infused brandies, grappas and vodka (called Goat and now available, appropriately enough, at the Fainting Goat, at 846 Broadway), but the two that interest me most are the Jackelope gin and the Colorado straight bourbon. The bourbon is remarkable simply because it's the first Colorado straight bourbon being made legally, but also because it's made with Olathe sweet corn. And the gin is worthy of note because, first, gin is awesome and doesn't get drunk nearly enough these days, and second, because it's made entirely with Colorado juniper (in several varieties) and a bunch of local herbs. The result is a liquor that tastes distinctly of Colorado. Nice trick."
"Leopold Bros., which moved from Ann Arbor to Denver last year, puts super-small-batch spirits (made in a single, forty-gallon copper pot) in hand-numbered bottles. Leopold does everything from American gin, single-barrel rum and vodka to several different cordials, liqueurs and (weirdly) flavored whiskey. There's also Pure Distilleries in Colorado Springs (vodka), Peak Spirits in Hotchkiss (more gin, more vodka, more grappa and eau de vie); Mystic Mountain Distillery in Larkspur (most notably, Colorado moonshine made from Fort Morgan sugar beets); Roundhouse Spirits in Longmont, and Colorado Gold Distillery, which sounds like it ought to be producing (or growing...) something else, but actually makes vodka, gin and bourbon in Cedaredge."
"My goal? To try a little of everything from our local producers and blog about it over the coming months. So if I've missed any of you bathtub distillers out there, drop me a line."
Click here to read the rest of Jason Sheehan's food column.