Tucked into a corner of Colorado Springs is one of the finest small batch distilleries in the Rocky Mountain region. By blending southern traditions—smooth whiskey perfect for porch sipping with western sensibilities—something with a little spice to enjoy after a day outdoors, Distillery 291 has created a hybrid all Mile High residents need to try.
Founded in 2011 by Michael Myers, a former fashion and advertising photographer, the distillery has been turning out award-winning spirits from the moment they cracked their first barrel. Makes sense, Myers grew up in the hills of Tennessee, surrounded by superb whiskeys.
Of their five different whiskeys, and one liqueur, maybe the best one is the Colorado Bourbon Whiskey. Aged in virgin white oak barrels they have added Aspen staves to the maturation process to impart a local feel. It pours from the bottle at 100-proof with a deep orange color reminiscent of the last light right before the sun drops.
First sip provides a bit of forward burn, before settling nicely down with a sweetness offering hints of cherries and chocolates. There is a slight smokiness that provides just a hint of campfire. The couple of ice cubes I added to my drink helped to open it up while not making it to watery. The best part is the smooth finish, no residual burn or aftertaste. It leaves you wanting more.
It perfectly lives up to their motto—Rugged, Refined, Rebellious. Go score a bottle at your favorite fine liquor store and wait for the first chill of autumn. Then crack the seal and pour yourself a glass of this killer Colorado spirit.