While Craft Beer dominates my interest, today, I want to share about a Distillery that has captured my heart.
I have to admit that I have been very blessed in life; traveling around as much as I have, seeing, experiencing, and tasting many goods that our amazing world has to offer.
In May 2016 I started to work for Wood's High Mountain Distillery. It was a perfect opportunity to learn about distillation before moving back to Austin, Texas full-time to open Bike and Brew ATX.
At Woods, they distill three types of Gin, two types of Whiskey, and one Liqueur:
1) Treeline : The flagship Gin created in the traditional dry style. In the spirit of the mountains it is features clear Juniper nose backed up by peppery spices, licorice, and earthy tones.
2) Hopped Gin: While maintaining much of the Treeline botanical recipe the distillers use at Woods add cascade hops, which appeals to hop-heads looking for a new twist on a classic spirit. It is quickly gaining the right momentum.
3) Barrel Rested Gin: Here they take Treeline Gin and age it in new charred American Oak barrels for about 6 months.. This spirit marries the flavor of our Gin with the effects of oak aging to create a spirit of remarkable complexity. Is it a gin for whiskey lovers? I think it is the perfect bridge.
1) Tenderfoot: The flagship Whiskey is a single-malt whiskey, aged in new American Oak barrels for about 14 months. Our Whiskey is made from a combination of three barley malts along with a small amount of rye and malt wheat to give it balance with a hint of smoke, chocolate, and spice.
2) Apline Rye: Talk about a Whiskey that we cannot keep in stock! After bottling this limited release, we sell all of our bottles in roughly 2 weeks. It starts with a mash bill of 70% malt-rye and 30% malt-barley. While the Tenderfoot Single Malt is aged for about 14 months, the distillers take care in aging the Apline Rye for approximately 2 years. It starts with a slightly smoky rye spice, followed by a hint of dark chocolate, orange peel, and cinnamon toast and finishes with caramel, coffee, and spice. We are currently only on batch 4.
1) Elderflower: This liqueur is made from a blend of Colorado Muscat and Riesling wines that Woods distills and infuses with elderflowers picked from bushes in Salida and finally sweetened with local raspberry blossom honey. This combination of flavors creates an elderflower liqueur like no other with just the right amount of sweetness. Mixing it with a spritzer creates a refreshing summer drink.
What makes Woods so special is the close-knit working environment they have created. The small company only employs 9-10 people who might as well be family. From day one, I felt like a part of this very special Distillery.
In the tasting room more magic is made. Woods holds a distilling license; meaning that they can only sell what they make. Because of this, we have to make all of our mixers and simple syrups. Everything is fresh and organic. The craft-tenders experiment daily trying to perfect their recipes and provide tasty cocktails for their guests. The people that stumble upon Woods, don't want to leave.
You can smell the whiskey from a block away. Every time I walk into "work" Im greeted by the chocolatey oatmeal smell of Beck (distiller) mashing the Tenderfoot Whiskey. It is the equivalent of walking into a coffee shop to be blasted by the smell of roasted beans.
I asked Beck what she thought about our Whiskey. She answered "There's nothing better than distilling something to its true essence."