Whiskey Lovers Holiday Gift Guide: Top 10 Colorado Craft Bourbon Whiskey Bottles in Steamboat Springs

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Ask any whiskey lover and they will tell you – when it comes to whiskey, quality is everything.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy it neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail, we like to think that every dram of whiskey matters. If you feel the same way, consider adding a couple intriguing bottles of Colorado craft bourbon whiskey to your collection this holiday season. They also make great gifts!

We do our best to stock your favorites – including hard-to-find ghost bottles, so pop in to see what we’ve got in store. We recently stocked: Weller Special Reserve, Joseph Magnus Murray Hill Club, 1792 Small Batch, Jefferson’s Ocean Aged At Sea Bourbon, and Maker’s Mark Cask Strength.

Without further adieu, here’s our annual round up of local bourbon and whiskey favorites to help you decide which one(s) to pick up next. We do our best to keep all of them in stock, but they tend to sell out quickly. 

10 Top Colorado Craft Bourbon Whiskey Bottles

1. Warrior Whiskey

Based out of Steamboat Springs, CO

Warrior Whiskey is a blend of American-made bourbon and rye whiskies finished in newly emptied rum casks and bottled at Navy strength. Recognized with DOUBLE GOLD at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition (2021), it’s a favorite in the Steamboat community and also gives back a portion of proceeds to vetted US veteran support organizations.

Tasting Notes: Approachable nose with sweet notes of maple syrup, sweet corn, and a hint of clove and cinnamon. The taste is a rich vanilla and marshmallow combined to create a delightfully creamy profile. The finish is low heat and has smooth rum notes. Lights hints of white pepper, oak, toffee, and citrus painted across the mouth.

American Woman Whiskey

 

2. American Woman Whiskey

Distilled in Kentucky, barrel-aged in small batches in Colorado Springs, CO

As the founder of this newcomer puts it, it’s “Definitely New, Definitely Different, Definitely American.” American Woman Whiskey is distilled in oak barrels with four different levels of char crafted with pure mountain water and aged in a dry, alpine ecosphere. It’s then finished in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The bourbon matures at 5,400 ft in elevation for over 2 years, before each char level is combined to create the finished product, which is strong in heartland corn (98%) and a touch of malted barley (2%), according to official tasting notes.

It’s received seven awards including Double Gold in the 2020 Denver International Spirits Competition, Gold in the 2020 Sunset Magazine Spirit Competition, Silver in the 2020 San Francisco International Spirit Competition, Silver in the 2020 Berlin International Spirit Competition, Bronze in the 2020 New York International Spirit Competition, Silver in the 2020 Cask Strength North American Whiskey and Bourbon Competition, and in 2019, Silver in the North American Whiskey and Bourbon Competition.

Tasting Notes: On the nose is a classic, welcoming complex of brown sugar and vanilla, notes of honey, and a rich caramel sweetness. The taste is balanced, approachable smooth oak, buttery mouthfeel, warm and sweet with sharp spice notes, caramel and honey mingle with just enough oak and char to round out richness, not too hot. Medium to lingering on the finish. Deep amber color.

3. Laws Whiskey Bourbon

Based out of Denver, CO

Laws Whiskey Bourbon is well-loved across the state due to its rich flavor derived from heirloom varieties of wheat, barley, and rye. It’s produced in three varieties: 

Four Grain Straight Bourbon

After a labor-intensive cooking technique brings the heirloom grain’s character to life, the open-air sour mash adds soulful complexity. Then, it’s aged for three years in 53-gallon charred oak barrels in our high-altitude climate. 

Tasting Notes: On the nose, orange blossoms meet notes of black tea, honey, and dusty pepper. Flavors include Pekoe tea, orange peel, cinnamon and vanilla custard. Hints of sweet tobacco and spice lead to a rich, dry finish.

Mash Bill: 60% corn, 20% heirloom wheat, 10% heirloom rye, 10% heirloom malted barley.

Laws Whiskey Bourbon

Four Grain Bonded Bourbon

This special offering is the first bonded bourbon in Colorado history. True to the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897, it’s at least four years old (in fact, it’s aged for 6+ years), is a product of a single season and a single distiller, and has been aged entirely in a federally bonded rickhouse.

Tasting Notes: Sweet and floral on the nose with notes of black tea, honey, and orange peel. Tastes of baked plums and black tea with hints of orange coffee cake leading to a lingering sweet cinnamon finish. 

Mash Bill: 60% corn, 20% heirloom wheat, 10% heirloom rye, 10% heirloom malted barley.

Four Grain Cask Bourbon

With true whiskey lovers in mind, Laws selects and marries together a number of Four Grain Bourbon barrels to bottle at Cask Strength after three years. This adds noteworthy character and concentrated flavors that come forward at high proof.

Tasting Notes: Varies from batch to batch.

Mash Bill: 60% corn, 20% heirloom wheat, 10% heirloom rye, 10% heirloom malted barley.

5-year-aged-single-barrel

4. Peach Street Distillers 5 Year Bourbon

Based out of Palisade, CO

Made from all Colorado grains, Rocky Mountain water, and a healthy dose of tomfoolery, Peach Street Distillers 5 Year Bourbon comes together after milling and cooking corn by hand, open-air fermenting it, and distilling the mash in a Christian Carl Pot Still. It’s then aged 5+ years and bottled from a single barrel. 

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey A Blend-Centered

5. Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey

Based out of Breckenridge, CO

The award-winning, high-rye Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey is aged for a minimum of 3 years, in charred, new American oak barrels, and blended to reveal the unique qualities of the Bourbon Whiskey. 

Tasting Notes: Deep, honey-amber hue with pronounced aromas of butterscotch, candied orange and apple; dry cacao and brown sugar envelop the tongue as the spirit lingers with notes of vanilla and white pepper.

Leopold-Bros-Maryland-Style-Rye-Whiskey-Spirits

6. Leopold Bros. American Small Batch Whiskey

Based out of Denver, CO

This small batch whiskey might be tough to find, but the hunt is well worth the time. By fermenting a traditional sour mash or corn and rye at colder temperatures, the result is a softer whiskey with subtly developed flavors such as vanilla, pear, and raspberry. Then the mash is distilled in a copper pot still on grain to extract fuller and rounder flavors. Finally, the distillate is barreled at the Pre-Prohibition standard of 98 proof, ending with subtle notes of oak and vanilla to refine the finished whiskey.

Mash Bill: 64% corn, 15% rye, 21% malted barley.

7. The Family Jones – Ella Jones Bourbon

Based out of Denver, CO

Made from Colorado grains, this unique and sought after bourbon is aged for three years and self-described as “a Leprechaun riding on a rainbow-colored unicorn to a bonfire that was started with magical fairy dust.” We think that description, along with its Best in State Award from the Heartland Whiskey Competition (2021) speaks for itself. 

Tasting Notes: Notes of brûléed vanilla sugar, toasted sweet corn, dark cherry and light smoke.

Mash Bill: 75% corn, 15% rye and 10% malted barley.

dryland-anterowheat

8. Dry Land Distillers Colorado Antero Wheat Whiskey

Based out of Longmont, CO

This incredible whiskey, playfully nicknamed “30-mile whiskey” since the entire creation process occurs within 30 miles, is the only known whiskey in the world to be distilled exclusively from Colorado Antero Wheat. It’s sophisticated, complex, and is 100% single malt and single barrel whiskey.

Tasting Notes: On the nose, leather, smoke, and slate are forward with warming notes of vanilla pudding, freshly baked cinnamon rolls, and Mexican hot chocolate. Tastes of deep spicy notes balanced with caramel, vanilla, and black cherry highlights. Leaves the palate with butternut sundae treats and a thick mouthfeel. Honey color.

Mash Bill: 100% Antero Wheat.

Mythology-Hell-Bear-Whiskey

9. Mythology Hell Bear Whiskey

Based out of Denver, CO

With a portfolio of spirits that have won more than 50 awards in 2 years, Mythology’s Hell Bear Whiskey is a highly intriguing whiskey to try. Its blend of straight rye whiskey, 4 year, and 5 year bourbon gives fruity and subtle botanicals upfront, with a prominent rye spice mid-palate and smooth vanilla caramel finish. The finished product provides hints of berries up front, big cinnamon spice, nice sweet cereal grains on the finish, and lasting vanilla intertwined with baking spices. 

Mash Bill: Undisclosed ratios 2 to 3 year Rye: 95% rye, 5% malted barley, 4 year Bourbon: 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malted barley, 5 year Bourbon: 68% corn, 20% wheat, 12% malted barley.

10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Bourbon

10. 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Bourbon

Based out of Vail, CO

This highly-rated, award-winning bourbon embodies the same characteristics of the 10th Mountain Soldier, which is written on the bottle: “Confident yet humble, adventurous yet grounded, bold yet modest.” Even though it’s aged for a shorter period of time than other counterparts, it offers a surprising and delightful smooth and warm finish.

Tasting Notes: On the nose, there’s a medium sweetness with hints of vanilla, oak, and honey. Warm amber in appearance, it’s smooth and leaves a toasted nut flavor on the palate and finishes with a sweet, medium-long vanilla aroma.

Mash Bill: 75% corn, rye (undisclosed), barley (undisclosed).

Honorable Mentions

Although we capped the list to our top ten, there are so many Colorado-based bourbon whiskeys we absolutely love. Here are a few honorable mentions: 

Woody Creek Distillers Colorado Bourbon

Branch & Barrel Bourbon

Boulder Spirits Boulder Bourbon Whiskey

A Note on Whiskey at WildPlum

While we’re of course partial to local offerings, we also carry a wide variety of national brands at WildPlum – as any true whiskey lover would! So, if you’re into whiskey but would rather stick with your tried-and-true favorites, we carry Michter’s, Elijah Craig, Angel’s Envy, Buffalo Trace, Knob Creek, Bulleit, Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, and much more! 

More to explore

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