Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Mile High Spirits out of Denver, Colorado is a rare working distillery located in the heart of downtown. As such, they have turned their facility into more than a place that makes liquor. A visit there can find you enjoying live music (in their 5,000 square foot venue), turning out your own cocktails with a local bartender, or nibbling through a food pairing. There are even weekend dance parties and ‘Pitch a Friend’ matchmaking events.
They make not only whiskey, but vodka, two gins, and rum, and bottle a cooperative tequila. Their tours are known to delve into all aspects of their process (but “we won’t confuse you too much”). The on-site bar experiments with infusions and turns out creative cocktails, not just sips of neat spirits.
Mile High is also committed to using the best local ingredients in their production, like Colorado corn, barley, and rye and Rocky Mountain water. You’ll find the flavors of the state pride Palisade peaches in the Fireside Peach Bourbon and a unique botanical bill for their Summit Gin.
From this description, you can guess at the ethos of the company: to create a really good product without “being obnoxious snobs about it.” It’s obvious in everything from their copy to their pricing that they want to be a spirit of the people. And when I absorb it all, I believe it. It doesn’t even sound hokey.
Any liquor so democratic would have to come out with a version honoring whiskey’s own consumer-protection law: bottled in bond. A refresher: bottled in bond certifies that a whiskey is the product of one distillery in one distilling season, is aged at least four years in a federally bonded warehouse, and is bottled at 100 proof.
Tasting Notes: Mile High Spirits Fireside Bottled In Bond Bourbon
Vital Stats: made from 70% corn, 20% rye, and 10% chocolate malted barley. It’s aged for four years and bottled at 100 proof. Find a 750mL bottle in select markets and online for $49.99
Appearance: This liquid is amber and coats the glass and slowly condenses into legs.
Nose: This whiskey has such a subtle and compact nose, even after resting in the glass. Peach gummy rings next to a “Shortbread Season” scented candle and a slight woodiness like the inside of a drawer.
Palate: Sweet on the attack, the flavor rounds out to grain character with zingy clove and white pepper. The medium-short finish speaks of smoky almonds before black tea bitterness steps in.