Our Favorite Whiskeys from the Rocky Mountain State

You may know about Colorado’s snow-covered Rocky Mountains, but what about its thriving whiskey distilleries? Here are a few picks from our favorites.
Nov 14, 2017
  • 10
    With a mash bill of 73% malt-rye and 27% specialty barley malts, this Salida, Colorado-made rye is aged in new American white oak barrels. Wood's High Mountain Distillery uses an antique German pot-still from the 1880s and was founded by brothers P.T. and Lee Wood.
  • 9
    Vanilla & Sweet
    Peach Street Distillers produce their small batch bourbon in a single 1 and 1/3 barrel batch each day at their humble distillery on the western slope of Colorado in a small farming town known as Palisades. Their bourbon starts with open fermentation of a wash consisting of 60% Colorado corn, 20% rye and 20% two-row malted barley before being distilled only once. It is aged for a minimum of two years before being bottled at 92 proof in hand-numbered bottles.
  • 8
    Breckenridge Bourbon is a blend of straight bourbon whiskeys. They produce a portion of it at their distillery in Colorado which is made from a high-rye mash bill of 56% corn, 38% rye, and 6% malted barley. Once distilled, it is aged in char #3 new, American oak barrels for about three years. Their bourbon is blended with straight bourbons from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana.
  • 7
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Stranahan’s was founded in 2004 by Jess Graber and George Stranahan, owner of Flying Dog Brewery. This Colorado American Single Malt Whiskey is made entirely of barley. For the Diamond Peak bottling, select barrels are chosen after four years in char #3 barrels for the batch. The whiskey is then brought down to 94 proof with Colorado Rocky Mountain spring water. Note: In 2019, Stranahan's revamped the recipe for this whiskey using a solera process. Check your label: if the solera process is discussed you have the new recipe.
  • 6
    Spicy & Fruity
    In the 1800’s there were two categories of rye: Pennsylvania Rye, also known as Monongahela, and Maryland Rye. Pennsylvania Rye highlights a nearly pure rye mashbill which produces a dry and spicy whiskey. Maryland Rye-style sets out to produce a softer rye whiskey with more subdued spice and rounder subtler flavors. It is produced with a mashbill around 65% rye. Leopold Bros. are one of the very few distilleries that are currently producing a Maryland-style rye. In keeping with pre-Prohibition styles, their rye whiskey is barreled at 98 proof before being aged for just over 4 years and bottled at 86 proof.
  • 5
    The brainchild of Jess Graber and George Stranahan after a barn fire on Stranahan's property this 4 barley whiskey was the first to be micro-distilled in Colorado. Jess still works with the brand and George has since moved his Flying Dog Brewery to Maryland. This American Single Malt is made from 100% barley, which for this category is not yet required. Note: This has since been updated and repackaged as Stranahan's Original.
  • 4
    Full Bodied
    A high-rye four-grain bourbon with a 60% corn, 20% rye, 10% wheat, and 10% barley mash bill. The whisky is aged for a minimum of three years in new American white oak casks. Distilled, aged, and bottled in Denver, Colorado. This is bottled at cask-strength which will vary with each batch.
  • 3
    Spicy & Fruity
    This open-air fermented, sour mash style whiskey is double distilled. Aged three years in heavily charred American oak barrels, this blend of 95% rye and 5% barley from Laws Whiskey House in Denver Colorado comes in at a solid 100 proof. This whiskey is the blended half of 10 barrels of whiskey produced by Laws, with the other half being bottled as single barrel expressions of rye whiskey. The name is "Secale" comes from the Latin name for rye--"secale cereale". Only 750 bottles were released in 2015 and will not be available again until the fall of 2016.
  • 2
    Full Bodied
    This grain-to-glass distillery uses four types of malted barley and two yeast strains for their single malt. It is fermented with open top fermentation for 4-5 days before being double-distilled with a traditional direct-fire copper pot-still. This whiskey is aged at least 2 years in new, white American oak in Buena Vista, Colorado; the distillery's location. Availability limited to Colorado at this time.
  • 1
    Full Bodied
    Made from a mash bill of 100% rye (sourced in Colorado) this rye is produced in the mountain town of Basalt. A grain-to-bottle distiller, this is distilled in their custom-built CARL stills and aged a minimum of four years in new white American oak. It is bottled at 90 proof.