Colorado is a crowded state for craft distilling, but Mile High Spirits in the heart of Denver is endeavoring to distinguish themselves by, and I’m quoting their website here, “not being obnoxious about it.” The Our Story section goes on at length with a well-reasoned manifesto bemoaning the elitism and expense of craft spirits today. Check it out when you have a moment. It’s a pretty good read. As for the distillery itself, well, their product line seems to take a rather eclectic approach to distilling with everything from a tequila to a peach-flavored whiskey on offer, all produced in-house with as little snobbery as possible. In between those are the more familiar whiskey and gin offerings, a pair of which we received for review. Let’s check them out.
Mile High Spirits Fireside Straight Bourbon Single Barrel – This bourbon is produced from Colorado corn, distilled on a German copper still, aged three years, and bottled at barrel strength. For a three-year-old bourbon, the aroma presents surprisingly little in the way of youthful grain notes, showcasing instead a nice mix of barrel char, chewy caramels, and toasted oak. The palate is rich and oily with burnt sugar, toffee, cream soda, and a bit of baking chocolate. While the grain is again restrained, barrel notes betray their age a bit with an overabundance of sandalwood and a slightly drying finish that is nevertheless lengthy. There’s a lot to appreciate here for such a young bourbon. Full of flavor and definitely showing tremendous potential. (Barrel 3b11) 105.6 proof. B+ / $50
Mile High Spirits Summit Gin – Unlike their other gin offering, a classic London-dry, Summit Gin is a new American style gin distilled in a glass still and made with 12 different spices and botanicals, including fresh citrus peel. The nose is light and airy with a powdered sugar sweetness. The juniper is subdued, allowing more fragrant notes of lavender, licorice, and ginger to dominate. On the palate, the juniper is more present, offering a sweet pine sap note that is complimented nicely by a variety of delicate spices and juicy citrus. It’s a bright, flavorful gin and on the dry side. Ideal for a martini back at the lodge. 80 proof. B+ / $50