Thursday, December 29, 2011

Down Slope Distilling

While I was running my mouth the other day about how much I wanted to tour a distillery, a twitter pal (Peep) of mine suggested that I might check out Down Slope Distilling in Centennial.  

As luck would have it, I had planned an over night date with the wife (sans kids) to the area, and was able to drive by the place the very next day. No time to stop as we were Christmas Shopping.

What I did get was a bottle of their Double Diamond Whiskey for my very own.

Craft Spirits
Down Slope has a business model that I greatly respect. The three guys that run the place are homebrewers at heart and they focus on local availability. What does that mean to me? Their products should be of above average quality and you might not be able to get any. Their web page says that their only goal is to "Produce and sell the highest quality distilled spirits available, to do so locally, and to make those products first available to the local community."

That's pretty damn cool! They even get a "Colorado Proud" sticker for their bottles. That may not mean much to you, but it's a big deal to Colorado Ag. It's a promotional campaign by the Colorado Dept of Ag to help consumers readily identify "Colorado" products.

Being small is both a blessing and a curse to a small distillery.  They say that "the still is custom designed, the wash production is more artisanal than state of the art and the space is limited. " Which in my book translates to "We make what we want, how we want and don't ever compromise quality." 

I was very excited to get my fingers on some Colorado Rum, but the only thing I could find on the shelf was the vanilla. I wanted something that would show a bit more of the pure nature of their distillery than an infused spirit, so I was happy to find the whiskey. Their web page says that it's only available at the distillery, but that info is obviously a few weeks out of date. They also make: Cane vodka, Grain vodka Pepper vodka White Rum Gold Rum, Spiced Rum, Vanilla Rum and Wine Barrel Aged Rum. They hint at something that I will be most anxious to try, and that is a whiskey made with a malt bill consisting of 100% Marris Otter!

I must say that I was most pleased to find the whiskey very fresh tasting. The oak is relatively subtle and there is a very young flavor to the spirit, although it isn't harsh in any way. I found it so intriguing, that I drank more than half the bottle alternating between ice and neat. Do NOT go into a bottle of this craft spirit thinking you've got a bottle of Jack Daniels, and don't thing that when I say it tastes "Young" that I mean Moon Shine! This is a top shelf spirit, and was a very nice introduction to Down Slope.

I am hoping to take advantage of another product that they offer at the distillery in Feb. Well, a service more than a product. Jessica suggested that perhaps going to distilling school would be a fun weekend away from the kids. 

This will go great with my new mission to do what I can to help legalize home distilling. There is no reason that as home brewers we should be considered criminals for distilling our products. Even making a true EisBock by freezing the beer to remove some water... Is ILLEGAL... And that is ridiculous!

Obviously, with one bottle of their whiskey, I can't be an expert on the entire product line. Judging by the one bottle I do have,  I would say that if you see Down Slope spirits on your liquor store shelf, you'd be pretty safe buying it. 


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