The options are endless when you’re looking for the best bottle of Colorado Whiskey.
You’ll find plenty of top-shelf options, one more expensive than the next. But what you won’t find a guide to really help you break down and understand which brand of Colorado Whiskey you never knew you wanted.
This is that guide.
Colorado Whiskey might not be your first choice for an on-the-rocks sipper.
But on this list, you’ll find absolutely divine flavors and you will learn to enjoy Colorado Whiskey like you never have before.
And of course, if you prefer a nice cocktail instead, our recommendations will work brilliantly with all your favorite mixes.
Below, you’ll find our list for the top brands in the world and a buyer’s guide to Colorado Whiskey as well as answers to how it’s made and what types are there.
Finally, we’ll round off this article with tips on how to drink and really enjoy Colorado Whiskey as well as the key tasting notes and vocabulary you’ll need to become a true aficionado.
Best Colorado Whiskey Brands to Enjoy
Here’s a list of the top 5 Colorado Whiskey brands you can buy.
|1||Distilling State 38||Best Overall|
|2||Strahanan’s||Best High-End Option|
|4||Laws Whiskey House||Best for Brand Prestige|
|5||Woody Creek||Most Easy to Drink|
This is an in-depth explanation of the top Colorado Whiskey brands, including a list of 15 brands and a brief description of their company, products, and popularity.
Distilling State 38
State 38 Distilling Company is one of the best Colorado whiskey brands in the world. They are one of the few distilleries in the United States that distill whiskey on the grain with more flavor and sweet characteristics.
The brand was started in April 2013, where it pays homage to the 38th state, Colorado. They make four types of whiskey, namely: Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Peat Smoked Whiskey, Straight Wheat Whiskey, and Straight Rye Whiskey.
Strahanan’s Colorado Whiskey is one of the leading whiskey brands operating in Denver, Colorado. In addition, it was the first modern micro-distillery to be established legally in the state.
The brand was started in 2004 by Jess Graber and George Strahanan. They developed a unique recipe to produce a flavorful and smooth American single malt whiskey. It has wonderful characteristics and flavor profiles because of the surrounding mountains, climate, and water.
The whiskies are made in small batches and handcrafted using four ingredients, mainly 100% malted barley, yeast, Rocky Mountain water, and maturation time in the barrels.
The craft distillery produces a small range of whiskies, including Small Batch American Single Malt Whiskey Original, Blue Peak Single Malt Whiskey, Mountain Angel Straight Malt Whiskey, Snowflake, Sherry Cask Whiskey, and Single Barrel Whiskey.
Distillery 291 is an award-winning distillery in Colorado that makes plenty of refined whiskeys. This small-batch whiskey distillery is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The brand uses local grains and water from Colorado Springs to produce the best-tasting Colorado whiskies.
Their collection includes Small Batch Colorado Whiskey, Small Batch Colorado Bourbon Whiskey, Single Barrel Colorado Bourbon Whiskey, Small Batch American Whiskey, Fresh Colorado Whiskey, White Dog Bad Guy, Colorado Rye Whiskey, Colorado Bourbon Whiskey, Hr Colorado Bourbon Whiskey, and the Experimental Series.
Laws Whiskey House
Laws Whiskey House is a reputed American whiskey brand that makes high-quality spirits using heirloom grains that produce an authentic flavor. The brand is famous for sourcing heritage grains from two family-owned farms in the eastern plains of Colorado.
The whiskey is aged in the dry and wet climate conditions of the Rocky Mountains, which results in a drink with a deep flavor and characteristics. They follow an optimal distillation process and time-intensive sour mash fermentation to produce the best bottled in-bond Colorado whiskies.
Laws Whiskey House produces rich and complex-tasting Bourbon whiskey and rye whiskey. The collection includes Four-Grain Straight Bourbon, Four-Grain Straight Bonded Bourbon, and Four-Grain Straight-Cask Bourbon. Their rye whiskeys include Straight Rye, Straight Bonded Rye, And Straight Cask Rye.
Bear Creek Distillery produces handcrafted grain-to-bottle spirits in Lakewood, Denver. They use locally sourced ingredients from Colorado to produce plenty of award-winning small-batch whiskies.
The line-up includes Flagship Straight Bourbon, Wheated Bourbon, Wheat Whiskey, White Whiskey, and Rye Whiskey. These Bourbon whiskeys are made in the distillery and matured in American white oak barrels for a minimum of two years.
The Family Jones
The Family Jones is one of the newest craft distilleries operating in Colorado. They collaborate with Colorado-based farmers to source the best quality grains for producing high-quality spirits.
The family Jones distillery produces Atticus Jones, the first straight whiskey produced from grain to glass. This is made using rye, corn, and malted barley, and it is aged for a minimum of two years in American oak barrels.
Ella Jones Colorado Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made with 100% Colorado grains and aged three years in charred white oak barrels.
Jones House American Whiskey is a classic Colorado blend of 8-year-old whiskey distilled from bourbon and 4-year-old straight rye whiskey.
The TINCUP Mountain Whiskey Distillery is on the west side of the Rockies. This distillery has roots deep in Colorado history, where the brand is named after an old mining town. The brand honors the first whiskey drinkers in Colorado who drank from tin cups.
TINCUP Original Whiskey is a blended whiskey that comprises two American whiskeys aged in charred oak barrels. High Rye Bourbon is mixed with Colorado single malt whiskey to produce the original whiskey.
TINCUP Rye Whiskey is made with midwestern rye and barley, distilled and aged for three years before being blended with Rocky Mountain water.
TINCUP 10 is the newest expression of whiskey, which has a bold flavor because of its maturation in oak barrels for about a decade.
This is the world’s highest distillery, making award-winning Bourbon whiskies in Colorado. The distillery was founded in 2008 and is known for making the best American-style whiskey and crafted bourbons.
The brand is famous for plenty of spirits, including Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, Stout Cask Finish Whiskey, Broncos Bourbon Blends, Port Cask Finish Whiskey, Rum Cask Finish Whiskey, PX Cask Finish Whiskey, Madeira Finish Whiskey, Distillers’ High Proof, Single Barrel Whiskey Bourbon, Spiced Whiskey, and Reserve Blend.
Leopold Bros is a top-class whiskey brand in the United States. The distillery was founded by the Leopold brothers in 1999 in Denver. The branch sources ingredients from Colorado’s San Luis Valley, the Western Slope, and the distillery’s agricultural fields.
The brand is popular for producing differently flavored and unflavored whiskies using locally sourced grains and Rocky Mountain water. Their line-up includes American Small Batch Whiskey, Straight Bourbon, Straight Bourbon, and Whiskey Bottled-In-Bond.
The flavored whiskey collections include New York Apple Whiskey, Rocky Mountain blackberry whiskey, Michigan cherry whiskey, Rocky Mountain peach whiskey, and Georgia peach whiskey.
Downslope Distilling is one of the premier distilleries in Colorado that was started in 2009. The brand is popular for using raw ingredients in making complex spirits.
They make plenty of small-batch handcrafted spirits, including whiskey. The collection includes Bourbon whiskey, Double Diamond Whiskey, Single Malt Whiskey, and Rye Whiskey.
Downslope Colorado Bourbon Whiskey is a small batch, single barrel Bourbon that is made with corn, rye, and barley mash, double distilled in a copper pot still, and aged in new, charred American oak barrels.
Peach Street Distillers
Peach Street Distillers is one of the best Colorado-based craft distilleries that has made the first legal bourbon in Colorado. It is an artisan distillery that makes the best bourbon in the country.
The brand uses local Colorado grains to distill fine-quality specialty whiskies such as Single Malt American Whiskey, Colorado Straight Rye Whiskey, and Smoked Rye Whiskey.
The brand also makes fine quality Bourbon whiskey using Colorado grains in rocky mountain water, which is aged in first-used charred American oak barrels.
The line-up includes Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barrel Strength, Peach Infused Bourbon, Straight Bourbon Whiskey 10-Year-Old, and Bonded Bourbon.
Golden Moon Distillery
Golden Moon Distillery produces Golden Moon Colorado Single Malt Whiskey. It is made entirely from malted barley grown in Colorado.
The whiskey is distilled and aged in new oak casks for a minimum of one year and then finished in used oak casks. It is one of the best tasting, unique Colorado whiskies in the United States.
The distillery also makes Golden Moon Principium Whiskey, which is made entirely of malted barley and aged in new American oak casks.
Golden Moon Triple is a triple-distilled whiskey made from 100% malted barley grown in Colorado. It is triple distilled in the Irish style and then aged in new American oak casks.
Spirit Hound Distillers
Spirit Hound Distillers is one of the best whiskey brands in the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The brand produces 100% Colorado whiskey using all malt, which gives it a unique taste and flavor profile.
The distillery produces craft spirits using custom copper stills and fresh local ingredients. A collection of whiskey includes Straight Malt Whiskey, Cask Strength Malt Whiskey, and Colorado Honey Whiskey.
Woody Creek Distillery produces complex and flavorful distilled spirits in Colorado. They use high-quality grains from Colorado farms to produce rye and Bourbon whiskey.
Colorado Straight Rye Whiskey is a 100% smooth-tasting rye whiskey aged in new American oak casks for four years. Colorado Bourbon whiskey has wonderful complex flavors and a dark amber color because it is aged deeply charged in new American oak barrels for a minimum of four years.
Wood’s High Mountain
Wood’s High Mountain Distillery was launched after the inspiration of the Grand Canyon. It is a small-scale distillery founded by brothers PT and Lee Wood.
Their products include Sawatch American Malt Whiskey, a special blend of 100% malted grains distilled in the traditional pot stills and aged for 4 to 5 years in new American oak barrels.
Tenderfoot Malt Whiskey is made with three different malt barley aged two years in charred new American oak barrels in the intense Colorado mountain temperatures.
5 Reasons for the Popularity of Colorado Whiskey
Colorado is one of the best states in the United States for distilling alcoholic beverages, especially whiskey. These are the perfect reasons why whiskies distilled in Colorado are so popular in the world, especially among whiskey connoisseurs.
Rocky Mountains: Colorado has beautiful, snow-clad Rocky Mountains, which provide the perfect environment for the farmland and distilleries located around the state.
Spring Water: Colorado is also rich in rivers like the Colorado River, Rio Grande River, Arkansas River, and Platt River. Many of the whiskey distilleries are near these rivers, which helps them make great whiskeys. Whiskey has an intense flavor because of the rich mineral content in the spring waters.
Climate: The extremely dry climate and radical temperature changes in Colorado help the proper maturation of whiskey. Most distilleries are at high altitudes, which provide the perfect dry climate and humidity to create a higher-proof product with a complex flavor profile.
Farmlands: Colorado State is also known for farming because of its fertile soil. Many farmers grow corn, barley, rye, and wheat grains in a sustainable environment in Colorado, which helps distillers source the grains from the local markets.
Craft Spirits Boom: Beer was the first spirit distilled Colorado in the 18th century. After the prohibition period, there was a lot of exposure to craft distilleries, particularly whiskey producers. As a result, there was an increase in demand for craft spirits, and many distilleries in Colorado started producing delicious Colorado-made craft whiskeys. This led to the formation of a whiskey trail in Colorado.
Cocktails Made with Colorado Whiskey That Are Worth Trying
Colorado Whiskeys are rich, sweet, and smooth with deep aromas and flavors. They taste great as a sipping drink. You can drink these straight or on the rocks. They blend excellently with mixers to make plenty of delicious cocktails such as:
Colorado Man O’War
Mix Colorado whiskey with sweet vermouth, Cointreau, lemon juice, and brandied cherries.
Colorado Whiskey Sour
Mix Colorado whiskey with lemon juice and simple rosemary syrup. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and lemon slices.
Mix ginger beer with Colorado Bourbon whiskey, lime juice, mint leaves, and ice cubes.
You can make a colorful cocktail by blending orange juice, lemon juice, orange liqueur, and Colorado whiskey.
Colorado Whiskey Smash
Mix Colorado Bourbon whiskey with simple syrup, lemon juice, ice cubes, and garnish with mint leaves.
Colorado Rye Cocktail
Blend Colorado rye whiskey, cream, and coffee liqueur in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and serve chilled.
Combine Colorado Bourbon whiskey, honey syrup, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl.
Cherry Whiskey Cocktail
Blend Colorado whiskey with simple syrup, egg white, tart cherry juice, and garnish with fresh cherries.
Sweet Tea from Colorado
You can make a refreshing cocktail by blending Colorado whiskey with hot brewed chamomile tea, honey, and fresh lime juice and topping it with a dash of angostura bitters.
Blend Colorado whiskey with a brown sugar cube Angostura bitters, and add a pinch of cinnamon powder. Strain this into an ice-filled rock glass and garnish with an orange slice and cinnamon stick.