As one of our top things to do before leaving Denver, we finally toured the Laws Whiskey Distillery. We went with high hopes and excitement, knowing it would be a great experience, especially the whiskey tasting part. The pleasant surprise was that we were introduced to the heart of this new, quality distillery. And what a heart it is! Not only is A.D. Laws Whiskey House taking top shelf for straight bourbon whiskey, but they are inspiring others to create their dreams and build ventures and businesses with quality and heart. Come along to see what I’m talking about.
CRAFT OVER COMMODITY | QUALITY OVER QUANTITY | WHISKEY ABOVE ALL!
The line above says it all. I could pretty much be done with this post (lucky for you, I’m not), because this declaration is not just words – for Laws Whiskey House, it’s their promise. In the people working there, the founder himself, and of course the taste of the whiskey and learning about it, their promise rings true.
We made our reservations online for a tour and on a recent Thursday evening showed up at the distillery which lives on South Broadway in downtown Denver. Our tour guide was Kristen, originally from Australia and now living here a couple of years. He made us feel welcomed and gave us an amazingly informative tour, starting with a great run-down of Bourbon Whiskey 101. If you think it may be hard to take in, don’t fret – they have a large chalkboard ready with great visuals of the whole process.
My boyfriend and my brother and I have been drinking pretty nice bourbons, whiskeys and single malt scotches for some years now. We don’t claim to be excerpts so it was really neat to further our knowledge of the process and the product, as well as deepen our appreciate for the really good stuff.
What I walked away with the most is that a lot of distilleries, mainly the big commercial companies, tend to take short-cuts in their distilling process. So Laws stands apart by not taking any shortcuts at all. They make sure to age their bourbon whiskeys in new American White Oak barrels that are first charred on the inside. That liquid gold is aged year-round for a minimum of 2 years. The other key ingredient I love is that, as a four-grain straight bourbon, they use only American-sourced grains from family-owned farms, one of which is in Colorado and another in Wisconsin.
I never realized how important time is for creating good bourbon whiskey. For Laws, it’s one of their five most important ingredients for making “honest whiskey”: water, grain, yeast, oak barrels, and time. In most cases, time is the ingredient that is cut out – but not at Laws! As their distiller Jake Norris says, “The whiskey will tell us when it’s ready”. Yet what stood out to me the most, was the story of how the founder, Allen Laws, quit his job in the oil and gas industry to pursue his passion for creating great-quality bourbon-whiskey. From what I learned, he’s a very intentional man; seeing and appreciating meaning in things and therefore infusing his whiskey with value and meaning. Everything that is done has a purpose. Not only is it about the quality; it is also about this man’s story and his dreams. What a neat way to be manifest one’s dream and at the same time, share it with others and the world.
We’re thrilled to see distilleries like this taking place in Colorado and the world. They honor tradition and process. And boy, we can tell the difference. Thanks Laws Whiskey House! Anytime we’re back in Denver, we will definitely be stopping in. In the meantime, we’ll drink to you wherever we travel to!
And for you, dear reader, please make sure you also enjoy them. Their 3rd batch recently came out and their newly released Rye was just released this June 2015. Visit their site to learn more: Laws Whiskey House.