(Lyons, Colorado) – On Saturday, August 22, Spirit Hound Distillers will release the first bottles of its years-in-the-making Straight Malt Whisky.
The small-batch distiller is bottling five 53-gallon oak barrels of Straight Malt Whisky that were filled prior to the historic September 2013 floods that did severe damage to Lyons and other parts of Colorado.
“Two years ago when our town got hit by the flood and our distillery was under three feet of water,” says head distiller and co-founder Craig Engelhorn, “I was worried this whole thing might go down the drain. To finally be releasing this whisky and have it turn out so well, it’s very satisfying for us.”
This whisky will only be available for sale at the Spirit Hound distillery and tasting room at 4196 Ute Highway (State Road 66), 1 mile east of downtown Lyons.
The first bottles go on sale at the distillery’s Straight Malt Whisky release party on August 22. The event starts at 11 AM and runs until 11 PM, there will be a one-bottle-per-person limit on Straight Malt Whisky purchases.
The event will also feature live music, food from local food trucks, cocktails made with the full lineup of Spirit Hound spirits, and more.
Since opening in 2012, Spirit Hound has been selling its acclaimed Spirit Hound Gin, Richardo’s Decaf Coffee Liqueur, Mountain Bum Rum, and an un-aged version of its whisky called White Dog Moonshine.
“But this is why we started Spirit Hound, to make Colorado whisky,” says Wayne Anderson, a Spirit Hound co-founder and the company’s director of business development. “We’ve survived the flood and are ready to release ‘the Hound.’”
“The wait has been excruciating,” Anderson adds. “The flood was bad enough, of course. But we had to recover from that and then walk around these barrels every day for another couple of years.”
The spirit is distilled from an all-malt recipe made from Colorado-grown malted barley and a dash of peat-smoked malted barley, all grown and malted by Colorado Malting Company in Alamosa, Colorado.
The spirit was double distilled at Spirit Hound on two handmade, built-from-scratch stills (including a Scottish pot-style still) designed by Engelhorn and constructed by Engelhorn and his partners.
Straight Malt Whisky was aged for over two years in new, fully charred American oak barrels. The whisky is bottled in an unblended, “single-barrel” fashion.
“It reflects our small-batch nature,” Engelhorn says of the unblended spirit, “and it showcases the subtle differences between each barrel. The fact is they all turned out very well, even better than I had hoped.”
Spirit Hound’s Straight Malt Whisky features aromas of oak and toffee, flavors of caramel, turbinado sugar and light smoke, and a silky body.
“It’s buttery and smooth,” Engelhorn says, “and it has a soft and slightly sweet finish. It’s 90 proof and flood proof.”
“My goal with the peat level,” Engelhorn notes, “was for it to be approachable enough for newbie whisky drinkers, but present enough to satisfy single malt scotch drinkers.”
“From the start,” he adds, “we’ve committed to doing things the right way. We’re not rushing things, we’re not bringing in other whisky to relabel or blend with ours. I hope the consumers appreciate the time and effort we’ve put into this.”
Due to the significant problems caused by the 2013 flood, Spirit Hound’s whisky production was interrupted for about six months. Because of that, the distillery’s next release of aged whisky will not take place until early 2016.
Spirit Hound was founded in 2012 by friends, Lyons residents and Boulder County businessmen Craig Engelhorn, Wayne Anderson, Matt Rooney, Neil Sullivan and Rick England.
The group set out to put Lyons on the US distilling map with a range of small-batch spirits topped by a signature gin and a straight malt whisky. The Spirit Hound tasting room is a popular destination for lovers of distilled spirits and cocktails.
Learn more at www.spirithounddistillers.com .