Local distilleries came together on June 4 at the second annual Colorado Whiskey Collaboration Project to create a 53-gallon barrel of whiskey. Bear Creek Distillery, 291 Colorado Distillery, Law’s Whiskey House, Old Elk Distillery, State 38 Distilling, Woody Creek Distillers and Wood’s High Mountain Distillery are the team of seven that handcrafted a wheat whiskey in equal parts without using any specialty malts. Each distillery used their facility to distill their donation that was used to collectively fill a new North American white oak, toasted and charred, 53-gallon barrel from Independent Stave Company. The cherry on top? All benefits from the barrel will be donated to local charities.
“We wanted to do something fun together to raise money for local charities, while also spreading the awareness of the local Colorado craft-distilling community,” said Sean Smiley, owner of State 38 Distilling, and president of the Colorado Distillers Guild. “The Colorado community has such a strong interest in craft distilling and buying local products, that we think this incredibly unique whiskey will raise a substantial amount of money for charity.”
The barrel will be stored for at least two years at Laws Whiskey House in Denver where it can mature. At maturation, the straight wheat whiskey will feature earthy spice characteristics and it should yield about 900 bottles, according to The Colorado Whiskey Collaboration Project. Each distiller will choose a charity to receive the benefits from the bottles that will be auctioned off at fundraising events.
A similar barrel was produced last year, which is aging and will be ready for bottling in 2019. It will also be used to benefit local charities.
- Natasha Lovato