When in Vail, it seems only proper to have a locally-made dram. I’m always surprised at the amount of new whiskies that have popped up in Colorado every time I stop by. It only makes sense, though. What do you want at the summit of a climb? A sip of whiskey. After a long hike? Whiskey. Day at the slopes? Ya know.
I made it to the whiskey before I made it to the slopes, getting a local taste my first night of 10th Mountain Whiskey. At the bartender’s suggestion, I went for the rye. Mountain air and a little whiskey hit the spot. Emphasis on little because altitude and drinking can really do a number on you…so I hear. I won’t be skiing with a flask today, but every time I fall in the snow, I like to imagine a fluffy St. Bernard bounding over the snow with a barrel around his neck to warm me up.
A little dram of 10th Mountain Whiskey? He might bark. Or say, because the likelihood of this happening is roughly the likelihood of a dog talking. And I will nod and smile and think how friendly Colorado can be.
10th Mountain Whiskey
What I knew: 95% rye, aged 6 months (assuming in small barrels), 86 proof, elevation 8,150 (It really says that. Colorado is very into being high…up)
What I learned: It’s a young, but a decent rye. Had soft taste with not much bite and not much wood taste, unsurprising considering the short time it spends in one. This is 95% rye, so it definitely has a spicy, rye flavor. If a nice slab of rye bread is not your thing, you will probably not enjoy this so much. It also had an earthy flavor, kind of like grass (not the kind you smoke). And I got a touch of honey in there. It’s not a well developed, complex rye. I prefer a somewhat bolder flavor with some more layers. But it has good potential and, hey, I wouldn’t turn it down if my St. Bernard showed up with some.