May 31, 2023

In search of an actual Whiskey Row Denver expertise? I’m not speaking a few easy restaurant that occurs to serve a number of whiskey drinks…yawn. I’m speaking about an actual 3 block space in Denver Metro the place you’ll be able to expertise the most important mixed whiskey stock within the state (and one of many largest within the nation), PLUS, there’s even a close-by whiskey distillery. The reply to the place to seek out the perfect Denver whiskey bars is in Olde City Arvada.

Arvada Olde City is residence to the most important and finest Denver whiskey bars. They’ve a listing mixed of over 2300 several types of whiskeys. Not solely have they got the rarest of uncommon whiskeys to attempt, however in addition they have barrel-select bottles which are distinctive simply to their bars and pallet.

I don’t assume many individuals know simply how uncommon it’s to have this massive of stock in such a small space, which is strictly why I’m introducing you to it! However first – let’s begin with some fundamentals.

whiskey row denver

What’s Whiskey Row

Whiskey Row refers to a block-long stretch in Louisville Kentucky from 101-133 W. Principal Avenue that when served as residence to the bourbon business. Now, many locations across the US name themselves whiskey row when there are a few whiskey institutions in shut proximity. There are additionally eating places which have taken the title too. Nonetheless, the one place you’ll discover a actual whiskey row in Denver (and all of Colorado) is in Olde City Arvada the place you’ve Bluegrass Bourbon Lounge, Schoolhouse Restaurant, and the Stockroom Speakeasy all in a 3 block radius.

What’s a Barrel Choose Whiskey

Upon visiting the Olde City Arvada whiskey bars, I heard loads in regards to the Barrel Choose bottles, so I got down to study extra about this elite whiskey buying course of. The very first thing I discovered is that Barrel Selects (additionally known as barrel picks) are the most recent development in American whiskey – it’s mainly a option to get uncommon whiskey to the lots.

Usually, a whiskey like Woodford Reserve is constructed from hundreds of barrels mixed collectively and proofed right down to 90 proof to allow them to promote to bars, eating places, and outlets. Nonetheless, every barrel is sort of a snowflake, every completely different in its personal method because of the barrel getting older course of. That’s why severe whiskey bars typically need to have the ability to select their very own barrel as a substitute of simply getting the ‘commonplace mix’ as a result of they belief their very own palette. Individuals who decide barrels typically have a really superior pallet for whiskey; they know what they need as a substitute of letting another person make that selection.

Due to this fact, a barrel choose is when a whiskey knowledgeable tastes the bourbon straight from the barrels and selects which one they like finest. Then they purchase your entire barrel (usually round $10,000) yielding 160 to 200 bottles relying on the size of the barrel. Successfully this makes their bottle of Woodford Reserve fully distinctive to them – a whiskey unicorn.

Lastly, they put their ‘stamp’ (aka particular label) on the bottle making it fully distinctive to the proprietor. This actually is an funding in the perfect whiskey, and fairly typical of individuals build up a whiskey assortment or high whiskey bars.

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Denver’s Whiskey Row – Sip the Finest Whiskey in Denver

I’m gonna say it – the Finest Denver Whiskey Bars are in Arvada. Every of those whiskey bars has its personal ‘lane’ that they specialise in they usually appear to co-exist comfortably with one another solely a block aside. But they do have one factor in widespread, they’re all led by among the high whiskey specialists within the state. These are the true whiskey geeks, the folks within the know, strategizing how they’ll get the perfect and hardest-to-find whiskeys of their assortment.

I like to consider them because the ‘Whiskey Mafia’ in a method – simply because I’m bizarre that method and love the thought of those specialists all sitting down round an enormous desk smoking cigars and speaking about their respective companies and their favourite whiskeys. Sure, I’ve a terrific love of the Godfather motion pictures.

They don’t think about one another competitors; they’re allies and I cherished listening to how all of them labored collectively giving one another recommendations on what to attempt to find out how to discover hard-to-get whiskeys. They’re even speaking about coming collectively someday for a Denver whiskey occasion…fingers crossed that occurs!

All of Arvada’s whiskey specialists are educated and enthusiastic about build up Denver’s finest whiskey assortment. They’re excited to show you on to issues that you simply didn’t know existed in order for you them to, however in the event you already know your stuff and easily wish to are available and revel in your favourite, that’s effective too.

Schoolhouse Kitchen and Libations Has Denver’s Largest Whiskey Stock

Schoolhouse Kitchen and Libations is residence to 2,100 bottles proudly displayed on their floor-to-ceiling cabinets of their bar. This is likely one of the largest whiskey inventories in Colorado and it’s nonetheless rising. The Schoolhouse already is a unique place to visit, a restaurant and bar created in an previous schoolhouse constructing (inbuilt 1882) with an intense (however enjoyable) college theme. Nonetheless, my college by no means had a whiskey assortment…that I knew of not less than!

Schoolhouse Kitchen and Libations Whiskey Inventory
The most important stock of whiskey in Denver at 2,100 bottles and rising

Whenever you enter – simply look excessive up on the wall above the bar and also you’ll see an previous health club scoreboard, and that’s the place you will note the variety of bottles of whiskey they at present have. Additionally they could have a secret stash within the ‘principal’s workplace’ that they save for particular events – shhh.

Be ready to be trendy and look at their inventory via QR Code online, as Beverage Supervisor, Andy, advised me that it was too onerous to maintain up with the paper ‘whiskey bible’ any longer because it needed to be modified too usually. That’s a superb drawback to have! Andy has been busy build up that whiskey stock from 475 bottles once they opened in 2015 to 2,100 in 2022. This consists of something that falls beneath the whiskey umbrella; whiskey, bourbon, rye, scotch, and moonshine.

Is There Such a Factor as Too Many Whiskeys – No!

Schoolhouse Libations Whiskey Pours

I can see how it could be simple to get overwhelmed as a buyer who’s simply attempting to determine which whiskey to order – however you’ve acquired educated Schoolhouse bartenders who may help you slender down your selection based mostly on flavors you want and your funds. Actually, generally in a whiskey bar that has a plethora of uncommon bottles like Schoolhouse – it’s good to start out with what your funds is after which slender down from there! The secret is to not be shy and supply them as a lot data as you’ll be able to about your style and different drinks you want to assist them begin to slender down from 2,100 to that 1 that you’ll love.

And if you wish to begin out with child steps, then ask the bartender for a whiskey cocktail (trace – they make many cool riffs on the Outdated Original) and have them select a whiskey for the cocktail that meets the flavors you want. You should have these whiskey flavors within the background however you’re additionally having sweetness; you’ve dilution. That may assist complement the whiskey, and make it slightly bit extra approachable. Quickly you’ll be in your option to one in all Andy’s favourite whiskeys – the Elijah Craig Toasted – it has a candy method to it with slightly little bit of marshmallow and darkish chocolate flavors.

Best Denver Whiskey bars
Begin out easy with a whiskey bitter.

Schoolhouse Whiskey Events

  • Whiskey Wonderland: Ugly Sweater Occasion and Whiskey Tasting – Prepare for an unsightly sweater occasion like no different! Schoolhouse bar opens up its doorways to fifteen+ whiskey suppliers and also you and your ugly sweater can do tastings of all of them. I hear it’s a reasonably raucous time.
  • Whiskey Creation Calendar – The month of December means an opportunity to come back in for a distinct 1/2-priced 1-ounce pour of whiskey daily till Christmas! Take a look at their creation calendar on-line and see which of them you wish to attempt.

Whiskey Suggestions from Schoolhouse

Elijah Craig Toasted
Redemption Wheated Bourbon
Jefferson’s Ocean Aged At Sea Bourbon – Aged on ships touring around the globe. I after all love the journey theme on this one!
Double Eagle Uncommon – the most effective pours round…and its in very restricted amount, which implies $$$

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Bluegrass Lounge Pays Homage to Kentucky Bourbons

Homeowners Sheena and Drew Gordon have a powerful tie to Kentucky; Sheena grew up there within the coronary heart of bourbon nation. It was her dream to carry that Southern Consolation tradition and Kentucky bourbon right here to Colorado. They opened Bluegrass Coffee and Bourbon Lounge in Olde City Arvada, completely positioned throughout the road from the brand new RTD rail system making it even simpler for folks to get from Denver to Arvada, stroll a number of ft, and order a wonderful bourbon!

Bluegrass Whiskey Bar Denver

The Bluegrass has constructed up an elite group of bourbon specialists that attend the Bourbon Classic event in Louisville and often go to barrel choice occasions within the area to select distinctive barrels simply to be served at Bluegrass. One of many managers who often does barrel picks, Josh Schwartz, likes the high-proof impurities of a barrel choose whiskey. “I adore it non-chill filter, which implies typically most whiskies, they chill it, forming globs in there and people the impurities are taken out. And I favored these traits. I favored the crack within the Liberty Bell. That’s a attribute, so for me, I don’t need them filtering out a few of that good things.”

Purchase a Barrel Choose Bottle

Throughout COVID, Bluegrass got here up with an effective way to maintain their workers paid – they began promoting their bottles of uncommon bourbons. These bottle gross sales proceed at this time – so if you wish to decide up a whole bottle of your favourite Bluegrass Lounge Barrel Choose – you’ll be able to!

Barrel Select Whiskey denver Bluegrass lounge
Making an attempt some Barrel Selects

Bluegrass additionally has a particular whiskey highball machine at their Candelas location. A whiskey highball is just whiskey soda water and lemon peel – it’s an excellent refreshing summer time whiskey drink. I went to take a look at the highball machine and see it in motion at Bluegrass. It dispenses the whiskey and soda collectively and the actual perk is that the membership soda is poured at about 30,000 psi – that’s 40 occasions extra carbonated than a typical soda gun at a bar can dispense. It’s so carbonated {that a} penny can float on high of a glass. This makes the whiskey highball much more mild, crisp, and refreshing! It’s price a visit to West Arvada to test it out for your self! Plus, this can be a nice ‘whiskey gateway cocktail’ so that you can begin ingesting whiskey if you’re new to the spirit.

Bluegrass Lounge Whiskey Occasions

Bluegrass has a reasonably epic occasion and music lineup at their Olde City location, however in addition they make it possible for they’re staying true to their Southern allure and bourbon roots by holding Whiskey Wednesday every week. Whiskey Wednesday lessons are a low-cost option to get educated about completely different bourbons. Usually, a distillery hosts the occasion and treats it as a method for purchasers to develop into conversant in its model. It’s form of like wine tasting at a liquor retailer. However in a way more relaxed and enjoyable ambiance with pizza, garlic knots, and patio seating! It permits folks to check out completely different whiskeys from a model and discover distilleries that they like in addition to present a little bit of general whiskey schooling.

I attended one not too long ago led by Buffalo Hint, the longest frequently working distillery within the nation, and was impressed with simply how a lot I discovered and was capable of style of their lineup!

You possibly can see the lineup of upcoming Whiskey Wednesday Events here – Price $25

Whiskey Suggestions from Bluegrass Lounge

Deerhammer Barrel Choose (this can be a Colorado distillery!)
Woodford Reserve Barrel Choose
Hogback Eclipse Barrel Choose

Attempt Denver’s coffee-flavored whiskey

StockRoom Speakeasy and Spirit Wines Provisions

Stroll via the Spirit Wines Provisions (SWP) bottle shop and ask somebody to “assist inventory the cabinets” – and shortly you’ll be let into an internal lair of whiskey and cocktails. Stockroom could also be identified for its cocktails and nod to prohibition-era mixology, nevertheless it too has a reasonably hefty stock of barrel choose whiskeys. Actually, greater than half of the wall of bottles behind the bar is whiskey. I think about it a cocktail bar with a whiskey drawback. Oh, they usually even have a little bit of a bitters fetish too. All the bar is lined with bottles of bitters – 160 to be precise making them the most important stock of bitters in Colorado.

This secret bar that began through the pandemic has gone from ‘can we survive?’ to thriving. They’ve constructed up a whiskey stock that features uncommon cask power barrel picks. Just like the earlier whiskey bars, the proprietor Casey merely had a love of whiskey and was capable of flip that love right into a liquor retailer first after which a bar the place he might share it with others. He and his spouse first opened the Spirit Wine Provisions bottle store shopping for a big stock of whiskeys, after which took it one step additional when he opened the Stockroom speakeasy the place he might create a cool setting to share and drink uncommon whiskeys and ingenious cocktails.

When requested why he cherished whiskey a lot Casey replied,

“I feel bourbon is de facto cool as a result of it slows you down. We’re used to quick; if one thing doesn’t load in three to 5 seconds, we’re on to the following factor. So with bourbon, it’s onerous to not decelerate as a result of it actually hits each sense; mouthfeel, style, odor. It makes you focus. It’s not one thing you’ll be able to hurry up. With bourbon, it actually locks me in and that’s what I’m targeted on; it’s about experiences. The one factor I like possibly higher than ingesting bourbon, it’s simply speaking about it.”

And take it from me, Casey (in addition to your entire bartending employees) love to speak about whiskey and cocktails – that is their jam.

Don’t Overlook the Whiskey Cocktails

They’ve an elite mixology group that makes the speakeasy expertise much more particular. I discover it enjoyable to easily sit on the bar and watch them. Each single factor they do from the ice they use to the way in which they shake or stir one thing has a objective within the drink. Though they’ve a wonderful cocktail menu that modifications ceaselessly, don’t be afraid to go ‘off menu’ and put these bartenders to the take a look at! Inform them what meals you want, flavors, citrus, liquor, and even how you feel emotionally – they usually can whip up a creation made only for you.

Whiskey Daisy Stockroom cocktail
Whiskey Daisy!

If you wish to attempt one thing enjoyable and new attempt the Whiskey Daisy. It’s a refreshing tackle the whiskey bitter that I attempted whereas I used to be there. It’s whiskey, bitters, and Orgeat (an almond and orange flower water syrup). For these of you into residence mixology – the distinctive factor in regards to the Stockroom is that in the event you like a drink just like the Whiskey Daisy – you should purchase the elements out entrance within the liquor retailer and go residence and make it your self! As well as, they promote all of their uncommon bottles of whiskey and myriad bitters within the entrance liquor retailer too. Throughout my latest go to, I walked out with a brand new bottle of bitters and a bottle of Rye – able to recreate among the cocktails I had on the bar.

And keep in mind, this can be a speakeasy – it’s fairly unassuming because it’s only a door behind the liquor retailer. If SWP is open, simply ask to “assist inventory the cabinets” and also you’ll be let within the Stockroom. Nonetheless, if the SWP is closed, then simply look to see if the neon blue key signal within the window is lit. If it’s lit, then the Stockroom is open. Ring the doorbell and wait till somebody comes and allows you to in. Then be able to decelerate and keep some time having fun with ingenious whiskey cocktails and a few distinctive whiskey pours.

Stockroom barrel select whiskey
Stockroom barrel choose whiskey

Stockroom Whiskey Occasions

Casey holds whiskey tasting occasions month-to-month the place he walks you thru 4 blind pours serving to you perceive the nuances of every and reply questions. You possibly can find out about them on their social media primarily. Their Fb web page can be a terrific place to see when he will get in new whiskeys too!

Additionally they maintain mixology lessons for personal teams the place you study to make 3 cocktails and recommendations on mixology usually.

Whiskey Suggestions from Stockroom Speakeasy

Wild Turkey 101 Rye
Evan Williams White Label Bottled in Bond
Smoke Wagon Single Barrel

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However Wait There’s Extra Whiskey – Talnua Distillery

Not removed from the whiskey row institutions in Olde City, Talnua Distillery is one more whiskey expertise in Arvada. As an alternative of amassing whiskeys, they’re making them. The title Talnua is born of the Irish-Gaelic phrases ‘Talamh’, that means ‘Land’, and ‘Nua’, that means ‘New’. This cleverly describes their ardour for bringing an old-world type of distilling to the brand new land that’s America.

talnua distillery denver whiskey
Talnua – The primary single pot nonetheless whiskey distillery in America

You’ll assume that each ‘first’ in whiskey has been taken by now. However by some means Talnua Distillery snagged the title of first single pot nonetheless distillery in America. I do know what you’re considering – what’s single pot nonetheless distilling? Opposite to what it’s possible you’ll assume, it has nothing to do with the gear you employ. Whiskies are outlined by the grains that you simply embody in them, not the items of kit. Pot Nonetheless Whiskey makes use of uncooked barley and that’s what makes it distinctive.

Single Pot Nonetheless Whiskey Distilling

This type of whiskey began in Eire and by definition must be not less than 30% uncooked barley, not less than 30% malted barley and you should use as much as 5% of different specialty grains if you need to, however that final 35% needs to be uncooked. So primarily 95% of your mash invoice needs to be barley. The uncooked barley typically brings extra spicey notes to the whiskey. Nonetheless, uncooked barley is inherently slightly bit oily and type of coats your mouth. However triple distilling the batch places it in a candy spot the place it’s velvety and creamy.

Take a distillery tour at Talnua and find out about the entire histories of how pot nonetheless whiskey took place in Eire, and the way it almost died out. Its historical past consists of tax evasion, the potato famine, and competitors with Scotland – some actually thrilling stuff!

TAlnua whiskey distillery denver

However how did pot nonetheless whiskey find yourself in Denver? Megan and Patrick Miller lengthy shared a love of whiskey and had their honeymoon in Eire the place they first discovered about pot nonetheless whiskey. They continued to return and research it intensely with the objective of opening their very own distillery within the US.

The Talnua whiskeys are aged in quite a lot of barrels; bourbon, port, white oak, and Pineau des Charentes casks. Style all of them and see what appeals to you. And in the event you take a bottle residence, you’ll want to check out their website for cocktail ideas for every of their bottles.

It is a pretty small operation; I noticed the proprietor placing stickers on the bottles by hand! It’s new to Colorado, nevertheless it’s rising like loopy as they want to develop. I’m fairly certain they received’t be placing stickers on by hand for much longer!

You are able to do tastings of all of their whiskeys, take a distillery tour, sip cocktails at their cozy bar, and benefit from the patio. I like to recommend the ingenious Elote Mexican Avenue Corn Outdated Original cocktail. Sure – there actually is corn in it and even a husk of chili syrup!

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Talnua is the right addition to the Whiskey Row in Olde City. And also you’ll discover Talnua Whiskey in every of the bars talked about above. It’s one massive pleased Arvada whiskey household!

Talnua Distillery Occasions

Turn into a member of the Triskelion Society and get first rights on new bottles, restricted releases, and particular occasions. Membership additionally offers you the prospect to attend bottling events!
Basking of their Irish traditions, Talnua holds an enormous occasion for St. Patty’s Day in addition to Midway to Saint Patty’s Day! They block out the entire parking zone, put up an enormous tent, have dwell music and enjoyable cocktails. See more on their Instagram Channel.

library of whiskey arvada
Library of whiskey

I discovered extra about whiskey from these Arvada specialists than I ever did on my journeys to Whiskey Row in Kentucky! I cherished how Casey from Stockroom boiled it right down to the fantastic thing about simplicity. “Whiskey is just a number of very staple items on this planet which are then put collectively and left to age in a barrel. From that comes an unimaginable business of taste and leisure.”

In the event you too are bitten by the whiskey bug, then skip the gimmicky locations that title themselves a whiskey bar or whiskey row and simply come to Olde City Arvada and expertise the Denver whiskey bars. See the way it’s made at Talnua Distillery. Prepare your palette for the large barrel selects at Bluegrass. Marvel on the floor-to-ceiling library of two,100 whiskey bottles in Schoolhouse. And at last, cease on the super-secret and attractive Stockroom and assist inventory a number of packing containers in trade for a whiskey cocktail nightcap.

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Klean Kanteen 16oz (w/ Café Cap)

One of many issues I like about Klean Kanteen is that they’ve a system the place you actually simply have to buy one insulated bottle after which use their interchangeable caps in your completely different wants; caps for sipping drinks, straws lids for chilly drinks, or chug caps. One bottle is de facto all you want!

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11/27/2022 12:06 am GMT

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Eagle Creek Packing Organizers

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I used to be a visitor of Go to Arvada whereas doing my whiskey analysis.  Nonetheless, all opinions expressed listed here are my very own.