Very few things are as fitting as country music and whiskey. Pairing a nice bourbon with those worn cowboy boots will forever be a mood. Fortunately, finding country music and whiskey in Colorado isn’t hard to do. While Colorado has definitely set standards in the craft brewery scene, the Centennial State isn’t far behind with its love of hand-crafted spirits, evident in the booming industry of distilleries. Whiskey, as a hand-crafted creation, is among the leading favorites for most Coloradans. We thought it would be great to put together a list of the best Colorado whiskey distilleries that should be on everyone’s radar.
Looking for a country bar and whiskey adventure? Be sure to check out Grizzly Rose in Denver, offering the best of both! We have weekly specials and our infamous bar is stocked with Colorado’s best whiskey. Don’t be surprised if we keep a stockpile of all that you discover in the list below.
Colorado Whiskey Brands: Booming Industry
Colorado was one of the first states to tap into the booming industry of crafted spirits and local distilleries. Taking its cue from the state’s multi-billion dollar craft brewery market, distilleries provided a specialized niche for locals seeking to create spirits unlike any other. For whiskey, in particular, Colorado offers access to flavors and locally sourced ingredients not found anywhere else. It has given rise to a new era of farm-to-bar trends and many locals and tourists are requesting the best, most unique products.
With a diverse set of micro-climates, rich soil, and a wide variety of terrain, the Centennial State was naturally equipped to offer the raw ingredients required for concocting unique whiskey creations. Colorado whiskey brands continue to set the standard nationwide. Let’s have a look at a few:
- Company Website: 52eighty Distilling
- Location: 10488 W. Centennial Road Suite 900, Littleton, CO 80217
- Whiskeys: Irish Whiskey, Rye, Bourbon
Born in Littleton, Colorado by three friends, 52eighty Distilling embodies the best of everything the Centennial state has to offer. Utilizing innovative distilling techniques, pure Rocky Mountain water, and acquiring small-batch ingredients from locally sourced family-owned farms in Colorado, this distillery creates whiskey that is sure to give you that WOW factor. Their two shelved whiskeys offer a different experience. The first, Hearthstone Whiskey, offers the best of Irish whiskey and Rye for a fully balanced spiced, oak, and vanilla flavor bursts. The second, Crackler’s Whiskey, is a winner for bourbon lovers. It offers a smooth finish with hints of caramel and oak. In addition to whiskey, 52eighty Distilling creates vodka and gin spirits, as well. Be sure to try out these spirits if you’re two-stepping at the Grizzly Rose!
- Company Website: Stranahan’s
- Location: 200 South Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223
- Whiskeys: Small batch American single malt
Among Colorado whiskey brands that should be sampled is Stranahan’s. Stranahan’s distillery is extremely proud of the fact that they’re the makers of the first Colorado-born whiskey. The distillery is located in Denver, so it’s an easy one for locals to get to. If you go take part in one of their tours, you’ll learn how the whole thing started from a burning barn, and you’ll get to taste some of their delicious concoctions. Their hand-crafted American single malt is made with four key ingredients: malt barley, yeast, Rocky Mountain water, and time in the barrel. They offer five variations of their near-perfect whiskey. Check them out on the website!
Laws Whiskey House
- Company Website: Laws Whiskey
- Location: 1420 South Acoma Street, Denver, CO
- Whiskeys: Bourbon, Rye, and Malt Bonded
This is another local Denver distillery, and they are obsessed with making a small amount of high-quality whiskey. They aren’t interested in making simple drinks that will appeal to the masses, and they just want to create whiskey the way it should be. You can take a tour of their distillery, and they’ll make sure you leave fully educated about the distilling process. Laws Whiskey House has dedicated their work to sourcing the finest ingredients and ensuring proper aging for each creation. This Colorado whiskey brand depends highly on the Rocky Mountain climate and the rugged terrain where their rye is sourced. Also, did you check out that bottle design? Wow!
- Company Website: Leopold Bros
- Location: 5285 Joliet St., Denver, CO
- Whiskeys: Bourbon, Rye, and American Small Batch
Looking for another of Colorado whiskey brands that has changed the game? These creators were a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation. Another fine distillery in Denver, but this one doesn’t totally limit itself to whiskey. They make a whole assortment including whiskey, gin, vodka, liqueurs, fernet, absinthe, and more. But the diverse selection doesn’t lead to any sacrifice in quality – they just like to have a lot of options. Not only do they offer tours of the distillery, but they also have cocktail workshops.
- Company Website: Downslope
- Location: 6770 South Dawson Circle, Suite 400, Centennial, CO
- Whiskeys: Malted, Rye, Limited Editions
Downslope is located south of Denver. While it definitely makes the list for the best Colorado whiskey brands, Downslope is also proud to offer other spirits like vodka, gin, rum, and even wine. Some of their drinks are even pre-mixed into cocktails, so they make life easy for you. If you want to feel a little more challenged, then you can take a step up from the standard tour and enroll in a distilling course and workshop. Their branded Double Diamond Whiskey has won numerous awards including Denver International Spirits Competition.
- Company Website: Breckenridge Distillery
- Location: 1925 Airport Road, Breckenridge, CO
- Whiskeys: Bourbon, Cask, Single Barrel
You can’t talk about Colorado whiskey brands without mentioning Breckenridge Distillery. Tucked into a quaint mountain town this is a favorite by both tourists and locals alike. Interestingly, their whiskey starts its life as snow. They get the ingredients for their different spirits from local sources whenever possible, but they’re not afraid to import a few barrels from Kentucky. Tours are offered in the distillery, but you can also pop into the tasting room downtown for a faster experience. More recently, Breckenridge Distillery opened a restaurant in Breckenridge. If you find yourself out for a ski adventure, be sure to stop into this one-of-a-kind distillery offering only the best whiskeys. Not up for the mountain commute? Not a problem. Breckenridge Distillery whiskey can be found on most liquor store shelves throughout Colorado.
Peach Street Distillers
- Company Website: Peach Street Distillers
- Location: 144 South Kluge Ave, Palisade, CO
- Whiskeys: Bourbon
When you’re ready to head west, don’t forget to stop into Peach Street Distillers in Palisade, Colorado. Located nearest to the border of Utah, Palisade is a change of scenery from Denver’s metro scene. As one of the leading Colorado whiskey brands, Peach Street Distillers pour their love of crafted spirits into each bottle. Offering more than whiskey, this is definitely a distillery to check out. The ingredients that go into their spirits are unique because of the Colorado desert valley in which they grow. Their passionate crafter’s source local fruits and grains for optimum taste and performance. They’re proud of the fact that they embrace the small-town life, and they’ll welcome you in their tasting room like family.
Golden Moon Distillery
- Company Website: Golden Moon Distillery
- Location: 412 Violet St., Golden, CO
- Whiskeys: Single Malt, Bourbon, Rye
At the gateway to the Rockies the quaint town of Golden offers goers a peaceful break from bustling metro living. It’s a short drive from the heart of Denver, but worth it to explore Colorado whiskey brand: Golden Moon Distillery. Golden Moon is located in (surprise!) Golden, and they call their spirit “Gun Fighter Bourbon Whiskey.” One of the biggest points of pride in this distillery is that the owner has a world-class research library of books about distilling. He can prove that he has access to pretty much all of the knowledge. You can almost taste the history with each pour.
Spirit Hound Distillers
- Company Website: Spirit Hound Distillers
- Location: 4196 Ute Highway, Lyons, CO
- Whiskeys: Straight Malt, Honey, Cask
Need more of Colorado whiskey brands? Check out this beautiful distillery offering more than whiskey. This distillery in Lyons, Colorado built their equipment around the goal of making the purest and flavorful whiskey. Their location in the foothills inspires them to follow the boldness of the west, so it’s worth the trip. Their first whiskey release was back in 2015. Since then they’ve continued to produce a whiskey that comes in great demand. Perhaps due to its fresh ingredients, but regardless, Spirit Hound Distillers is a must-drink.
Woody Creek Distillers
- Company Website: Woody Creek Distillers
- Location: 60 Sunset Drive, Basalt, CO
- Whiskeys: Bourbon, Rye
This mountain distillery is located in Basalt, Colorado. If you’re looking for a beautiful drive to explore more of Colorado whiskey brands, then be sure to get this one on your list. The phrase, living off the land, has been given new meaning with this distillery. While most distilleries these days pride themselves on sourcing local ingredients, this particular distillery decided to one-up. The Woody Creek brand actually grows and harvests every ingredient that goes into each one of their spirits. Their vodka, for example, is made from potatoes grown right on their land. They also use 100% rye mash for their Rye whiskey. Woody Creek Distillers’ spirits can be purchased directly online from their website.
Wood’s High Mountain Distillery
- Company Website: Woods High Mountain Distillery
- Location: 144 West 1st St., Salida, CO
- Whiskeys: American Malt, Rye
Two brothers founded this distillery, and they were motivated by their love of outdoor adventures in the mountains of Colorado. If you make a trip to their distillery, you can set your eyes on beautiful “Ashley.” That’s the name that they gave to the antique German pot still that’s still going strong even after working since the 1880s. With that kind of equipment, you just know the whiskey is great.