Woody Creek ‘Olathe’ Bourbon Cask Strength 7 Year Old Cask #522 . 75% Olathe Corn, 25% Malt. The nose of this 7 Year old cask strength shows Grandma’s cedar chest, chestnuts, roasted corn, hay, brown butter, and light maple syrup. The plate holds its proof well with warm barrel spices, brown butter, roasted root vegetables, sage, and maple syrup. D&M Tasting Notes
This distillery follows that old adage of distilling: go to where the ingredients are best. Pat Scanlan and Mark Kleckner met years before they had an inkling of getting into the distilling game while getting their engineering degrees from Colorado School of Mines. In the mid 2000s they were chatting at Pat’s Aspen valley home about being disillusioned with the corporate life of engineers and deal-makers in the missile and space arena, and looking for a change of pace. Being history buffs they knew that Aspen valley in the first decades of the 20th century produced more potatoes than Idaho; greater Colorado also has a deep history in grain based agriculture. After attending the distillery school at Dry Fly, they set about establishing a distillery on the banks of the Roaring Fork River 20 miles downstream of Aspen. Their still was and is their pride and joy: a custom two story CARL still crafted in Germany. When they opened in 2012, they had a plan: vodka first to pay the bills, then whiskey and rye when it was ready. Vodka was not an afterthought for them-- they had planted acres of potatoes on Pat and his wife Mary’s ranch and used those potatoes to make vodka ever since.
While vodka kept the lights on, their Master Distiller David Matthews (no relations to the band) was hard at work sourcing local grain for their Rye and Bourbon phase. The malted barley was the easy bit. Since the Mid-20th Century, Coors had been encouraging the planting of barley around the state of Colorado and especially in the San Luis Valley. There, the Cody family had established the second craft malting business in the United States, providing high grade malted barley beloved by distillers. Malted Barley, check. Rye was similarly easy, as the Western Colorado climate allows for Rye to grow easily, and it is often used as a winter rotational crop. So what about corn?
Most corn that is used in the production of Bourbon is #2 Dent corn, the same corn used for animal feed and production of High Fructose Corn Syrup. In emails with David, he said that the overall plan was always to use #2 Dent Corn, but the distillery wanted to play around with locally sourced corn as well. The town of Olathe is a little over 50 miles South West of Woody Creek, and is locally famous for its sweet corn (and as David states: little else). Quoting David: “The corn itself is very sweet both on the cobs and as seed corn which is what we use when we mash it. When the season starts farm trucks will appear around here selling it on the side of the road. When we first started up I looked into using fresh corn for making a whiskey but the logistics were challenging. I ended up sourcing surplus seed corn and using that. I actually really disliked the Olathe early on. It was only after about 5 years in the barrel that it came around and now I think it's amazing. Dent tends to have a slightly more cereal flavor whereas the Olathe comes across cleaner to me given enough time. We haven't mashed it in the last 4 years as I haven't been able to get any.” The barrel we have for you this month is number 522 and has a unique mashbill of 75% Olathe seed corn, and 25% Malted Barley. The barrel was initially filled with only 150 liters, and it was aged for a little more than seven years before being dumped for you. In a very Aspen twist, William H. Macy has recently joined the crew at Woody Creek as a partner, after growing potatoes for them for a number of seasons. ( He also wrote a very 2020 song for Woody Creek. ) Michael Kennel, D&M
Woody Creek D&M Store Pick 7 Yr. Colorado Whiskey
- Availability: In Stock
- Quantity Available: 23
- SKU #: 9003