D-Stilled Colorado: State-38 Distilling
When it comes to whiskey, my heart is in the 38th state of the USA. There is something special about Colorado whiskeys that keep me coming back for more and in search of different bottles to try. I don't know if it's the fact that it is made locally that draws me in or if there really is something in the water here. Over the weekend my wife and I decided to head to a distillery that pays homage to our wonderful state and the history behind Colorado… State-38!
Located in an office park at 400 Corporate Circle in the once state capital city of Golden, Colorado is a true nugget of gold with a cool fella named Sean Smiley who is manning the bar. He's also the owner of State-38 too. Sean was kind enough to give us an in-depth, personal tour of his place. Sean’s passion for distilling an array of spirits not only shows through the drinks but also by the way he talks about how to make them. From explaining the processes of fermenting, to how I made his own mash tun and amazingly cool hand built still. Sean's dedication, ingenuity, and passion show through work at the distillery. My favorite part of the tour was looking at all the oak-filled barrels that lined side of the wall at State-38. The North American oak barrels house bourbon, Scottish whiskey, apple brandy, and agave.
I really want to tell you about a unique barrel aging process Sean uses, but that would be ruining the fun of the short tour. You'll have to go there to find out about this one. Trust me, go experience it for yourself and ask about "Pink Floyd".
Back to the bourbon. State-38’s Colorado bourbon whiskey, DC Loveday, has all the great characteristics of a great bottle of small-batch whiskey. With notes of caramel, coffee, a bit of chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla make this an easy one to enjoy “neat” as the flavors blend perfectly for a great sipping bourbon. DC Loveday is made with Colorado-based corn, barley and the world-famous Rocky Mountain water. Then it is stowed away for a minimum of two years in the oak barrels before it is just right and bottled up.
State-38’s other creations include a line of agave which includes a Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo. We were lucky enough to get to try the reposado, which was smooth, very smooth! One day when we have an opportunity, we will try out the Añejo and the Blanco. State-38 also offers a Scottish peat smoked whiskey called, WI Mckenzie. I am assuming that this would be a great option for scotch lovers. I must admit, I am not one of those. Another offering is their Apple Brandy made from locally donated apples. After the apple brandy has fermented, it is put into DC Loveday barrels to get some of those barrel aged characteristics that make this one flavor I won't soon forget.
Recently added to the State-38 family is their Damn. Good. _____. lineup. This lineup includes vodka, gin, and even absinthe!
If you ever find yourself in Golden, make time to go to State-38 and see Sean. The atmosphere is comfortable and has a miner’s theme that pays tribute to Colorado’s historic roots. Comfy couches, a nice bar, great drinks and a talented guy with a knack for making great spirits will make you thankful you made the trip into State-38.
This is the first of hopefully many entries to come in D-Stilled Colorado! If you have a suggestion on which distillery we should venture off to next or if you are a distillery that would love to share a drink, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org