Woody Creek started exclusively as a potato-vodka distillery, aptly located in the Roaring Fork Valley, which is excellent potato-growing country. The goal was to use local, in-season ingredients to create world-class vodka—and they did. In fact, Woody Creek even grows its own potatoes. But once potato season wrapped up, the distillery was idle, says David Matthews, master distiller and vice president of operations. So other spirits followed, including whiskey.
Woody Creek offers four whiskeys: a 100% rye mash, bourbon (70% corn, 15% rye, 15% malted barley), wheated bourbon, and a high-rye bourbon (70% corn, 30% rye). You can also find brandy, rum, and plenty of creative limited releases. All of its spirits are distilled in custom-made copper CARL stills from Germany, and its whiskeys contain all Colorado grains. “Having farm partners that we’ve been using all this time means we’re getting consistent grain from the same people. Using the same varieties from the same place year in and out gives you that consistency,” Matthews says.
You can visit the distillery for a tour by appointment, try spirits in the tasting room, and shop in its on-site store packed with plenty of mementos and whiskey to take home.
Drink this: Woody Creek Distillers Bourbon
87 points, 45% ABV, $57
Tropical fruit, cinnamon, pepper, spice, and bitter oak
Eat Here: Wienerstube
This authentic Austrian-German restaurant in Old Town serves Woody Creek and other whiskey cocktails, as well as a selection of Irish and scotch whiskies.
Stay Here: Element Basalt Hotel
This hotel is within walking distance of the distillery and offers mountain views, pools, and free breakfast.
Take a Side Trip: Roaring Fork River
This river—a gold-medal fly-fishing spot—is right by the distillery. Frying Pan Anglers is a local outfitter that can show you around Basalt’s waters.