The brewing scene here in Colorado is a constant source of surprise from micro to home-brew, but its not just the beer here. There are now over fifty distilleries recognized in Colorado. Some of them are popular not just locally, but are now in demand throughout the nation. Hell, Breckenridge Distillery made bourbon so delightful that Kentucky tried to annex the town of Breckenridge in an attempt to take control of it. I, however, would like to focus on a less infamous name, that may be on the path to international fame for its talents.
The Golden Moon Distillery is located just fifteen minutes outside of Denver to the West and is worth a visit no matter where you are. With just two antique stills operating in the facility, Golden Moon is now responsible for all sorts of unique spirits from their Creme de Violette, to their Ginskey all the way to the brand new Carraway seed liquor. Each and every spirit in production is truly an attempt at perfection, most of them decorated with awards. With such limited space for production, there is no room for any blemishes among the cast they have assembled.
Owner Stephen Gould with one of his antique stills
My personal favorite though, an absolute work of art, is REDUX Absinthe Superieure. No amount of research or passion put into the creation of this drink was wasted. Owner Stephen Gould used books collected from around the world to build his absinthe recipe, most of which date between late 1700s to early 1900s. The result of these studies is a complex blend of floral herbs, spices and wormwood that is inherently sweet and so balanced that it has no use for the common practice of including sugar cubes in its preparation.
Once the most popular drink in the world, absinthe has a somewhat silly stigma surrounding it now, stating that it causes hallucinations largely in part to wormwood. However, the active ingredient in wormwood that can cause this, thujone, is well regulated, so absinthe will not leave you seeing green fairies or pink elephants. However, REDUX is 130 proof and, if enough of it was consumed, the alcohol may leave you seeing double. REDUX is simply an aromatic blend of herbs and spices that change your world in the right cocktail.
On that note...
The Golden Moon Speakeasy is the perfect place to experience any and all of their spirits being used to their fullest potential. I strongly encourage anyone wary of absinthe to make this the place they give it a try in earnest (especially with their Polar Vortex cocktail). The drinks served at the Speak are expertly crafted and are only made from the spirits distilled by Golden Moon. The Distillery itself has a tasting room where you can try all of their offerings individually, but the speakeasy is where those individual elements come together to create a symphony of excellence. While you're there, be certain to try their new Colorado Single Malt Whiskey. The first batch only had 384 bottles and just earned double gold in San Francisco, so enjoy it while you can...
Find out more about the Colorado Single Malt here.
Resident beer and whiskey aficionado, Tristan brings a wealth of knowledge when it comes to local breweries, distilleries, and, especially, scotch. Every month he'll highlight a specific libation, delving into what makes it great, from taste to how it's produced to the conversations he's had over a cocktail with the owner of a distillery.
Read his monthly segment, Bottoms-Up, on the HC Blog.