Last night, October 21, 2017, was the Still on the Hill Grand Tasting, which is the high-point for the Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival. We were lucky enough to be in town and able to attend this unique event. I say unique because I can’t image too many times where you can get so many craft distillers under one roof at the same time.
Our overall impression was this event is very organized and put together well. There was plenty of space between the booths so you could mingle and move easily, even while the event was packed. The selection and amount of booths was really remarkable and we got to try so many different types of whiskeys, and a few other spirits!
To prepare for this tasting we ate a small pizza to line our stomachs and help us from getting too drunk from all the drinks. We got there about 15 minutes before the start and there was already a little line but not too long. There was an entrance on both sides of the building so getting into the event was easy. What I’ve learned from other events applied to this one, too. Don’t just follow the line sequentially through the booths in the order they are laid out. Break away from the crowd and visit some of the booths in the center before everyone else gets there. This gives you time to talk with the distillers about their drinks without feeling rushed.
The event has all types of spirits, from whiskey, rum, vodka, gin, and lots of others. We mostly stayed with the whiskeys for this tasting because that’s one spirit that we like but don’t know much about. We tend to get the cheap stuff, which is good for mixers, but don’t know what we’re looking for in terms of sipping whiskeys.
Our three favorite distilleries were Vapor Distillery, Marble Distilling Co., and Deerhammer. This is partially because they were ones we visited during the first half of the event and before all the sampling started to kick in.
Vapor is located out of Boulder, Colorado and was sampling their Bourbon Whiskey which they are launching today, October 22, 2017. This has a really smooth feel and slightly sweet flavor. My favorite from Vapor was their Ginskey, which is a gin aged in oak barrels like a whiskey. This one has such a unique flavor and aromatic scent that I wish we could find it in Texas.
Marble Distilling is out of Carbondale, Colorado and they had some fun items to sample. Their Gingercello was the spirit that earned them a spot on our top three list. This drink was just like the name sounds, a gingery lemoncello.
Deerhammer is out of Buena Vista and they were sampling their single malt American Whiskey. We really enjoyed this one. They also have an American Single Malt Whiskey in a Port Cask that was really good. I liked the port undertones that made this a special whiskey.
There were a number of others that had great whiskeys but I think these three highlight the samples and the craft distilling that is going on around Colorado these days. If you have the chance to go to this event in the future, we highly recommend it!