Taking flight

Boulder Spirits launches a unique whiskey tasting ‘experience in a box’


Over the last several years, the distillers at Boulder Spirits by Vapor Distillery have quietly redefined Colorado whiskey. Now, with seven whiskeys (along with gin and vodka), Boulder Spirits is offering a unique chance to sample the range of its offerings in the Adventure Kit: 50-milliliter bottles of six whiskeys.

The kit includes three American single-malt whiskeys and three bourbons. American single-malt whiskey is a rapidly growing category, and its distinct from its illustrious cousin Scotch single-malt whisky (often spelled without the ‘e’). Brogan, a Scot and former member of the Royal Air Force, brought a 1,500-gallon copper pot still forged in Scotland to Boulder when he joined the distilling team in 2012. The still was created by Forsyths, a Scottish company that’s been making stills for more than a century, and Boulder Spirits claims it’s the largest in the West.

The still is ideal, Brogan says, for meeting the standards that the newly created American Single Malt Whiskey Commission have put in play for the category: 100% malted barley, produced in the U.S. at one distillery, aged in oak casks. Brogan says even though the single-malt history and the still comes from Scotland, the focus is on creating a new spirit, not a replication of the overseas version. Boulder Spirits ages its single-malt whiskey on white oak barrels from Missouri oak trees, water comes from Eldorado Springs, and the semi-arid climate of Colorado is so vastly different from the sea-tinged, moist air in Scotland, that the aging process creates a unique spirit.

So, in the Adventure Kit, tasters will get three single-malts to try: the New American, Peated Malt and Bottled in Bond. Aged for three years in those Missouri oak barrels, the New American has tasting notes of citrus and stone fruit, with a healthy dose of wood and vanilla. The Peated Malt is one-of-a-kind; aged for three years, there’s a distinct but well-apportioned kick of peat that provides a pleasant level of earthiness to each sip. And the Bottled in Bond is aged longer (over four years), has a higher alcohol content, and has a balanced taste of cream and spice.

The bourbons, meanwhile, are also unique to Boulder Spirits, and to Colorado. The Straight Bourbon’s got the typical 51% corn, but the addition of 44% malted barely in the mash bill, and a little rye, creates a smooth, interesting bourbon with notes of apple and fig. The Sherry Cask version — finished on former sherry barrels — is fruity and spiced, like a fruitcake or mulled wine; and the Bottled in Bond is a punch of malt.

For under $30, the kit also includes a tasting sheet and a QR code that’ll direct drinkers to a 30-minute video in which Boulder Spirits Owner Alastair Brogan and Brand Ambassador Ryan Negley walk through the flight.

Find out more info and get your Adventure Kit at boulder-spirits.com.

Previous articleBok choy redemption
Next articleObelisks in the Desert