Whisky has a special place in Colorado. With its frontier towns and pioneering spirit, no one can doubt that much of Colorado’s drinking culture has been shaped by this form of alcohol. It makes perfect sense then a fine whisky would take shape in a small town that serves as a gateway to the Rocky Mountains.
Lyons, mostly known in the boozing community from Oskar Blues fame, is also the site of Spirit Hound Distillers who opened their doors late last year. “Our customers have been clamoring for whisky since we opened,” says distiller and co-owner Craig Engelhorn, “and we won’t compromise or rush our aged spirits. But our unaged spirit is clean and flavorful, and after reducing it to 90 proof I was pleasantly surprised by how good it tasted.” After the release on June 15, Spirit Hound’s White Dog Moonshine whisky has been well received among the distiller’s community not only from a quality standpoint, but from using local ingredients as well. Spirit Hound utilizes malts from Colorado Malting Company, a small portion of which are touched with peat smoke, creating a truly unique Colorado whisky that will grow into itself over time. Currently, however, in its “moonshine” state- the spirit is very drinkable with just a bit of burn and great for one-of-a-kind cocktails.
Bottles are only available at the distillery, and are in limited quantities. Next time you head out to Lyons for a brew at Oskar Blues, or are just passing through on a day trip to Rocky Mountain National park, stop in to Spirit Hound Distillers for a taste of some remarkable booze.
*4196 Ute Highway (State Road 66), 1 mile east of downtown Lyons, CO