On Tuesday 8/21/18, I had a dram of cask strength rye from Distillery 291. It’s unlike anything you have ever had.
Distillery 291 is a craft distillery in Colorado Springs, CO. The founder was a photographer and used his copper photography plates in the construction of the still. I like to say that they do everything wrong. They age their whisky in quarter barrels for a very short time and add staves of aspen wood. None of that makes sense and yet they have won so many gold medals that the stickers are starting to take over their bottles (this particular bottle was bought before they started winning awards). They make excellent expressions of both Rye and Bourbon.
This bottle comes in at 63% alcohol, which suits my tastes just fine. Most people will probably appreciate it more by diluting it down to around 50%. It immediately hits you with a bold, yet sweet, flavor. There is a strong amount of spice and an odd woody character. It’s almost as if it was aged in sherry butts, but knowing the history, it is clearly the aspen staves. This is a fantastic expression. I recall that the drink that I had at the distillery was different from this one; sweeter and a little more gentle. Variation between bottles is to be expected with such a small distillery, but I would still like to see some more consistency from them. Also, I think I am detecting an improvement from tasting this bottle last month, which can be attributed to oxidation.
Price: $100 for the bottle