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Stoneyard Distillery: The story of ‘farm to flask’

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March 8, 2016, 6:06 am

Colorado’s newest craft distillery is creating an authentically local rum made with Colorado sourced ingredients to deliver a product which they describe as “farm to flask”. Stoneyard Distillery opened doors in late summer 2014, producing rum made from Colorado-grown beet sugar sourced from the Eastern plains of the state and using Colorado spring water from the Eagle River filtered through ancient volcanic rock. This authentically Colorado rum has a slightly higher 80 proof that resists dilution, and is “polished” to a high level of smoothness with a flavor that suggests sugar cookie.

Stoneyard Distillery's Batch 22.

Stoneyard Distillery’s Batch 22.

The Company

Stoneyard Distillery is located in Western Colorado’s Eagle Valley, approximately 30 minutes from the famed ski slopes of Vail and Beaver Creek, in the former railroad junction of Dotsero. Founded by two pilots who discovered they had more than a passion for aviation in common, the distillery was launched after Max Vogelman and Jim Benson, decided to band together to pursue larger production of Vogelman’s hobby garage-brewed rum. First, a plot of land was leased from Vogelman’s family, who had operated an original stone quarry (hence the distillery’s namesake) and then Benson set to work constructing the 5000-sq.-ft. site to house production facilities and operations including a tasting room and function space. A self-taught engineer who likes to fly and build planes, Vogelman custom-built the distillery’s still column, using parts sourced from the historic Hostess cake factory in Florida to create a double boiler kettle and now the still is affectionately known as “Twinkie.” Stoneyard Distillery has seen retail outlets expand to more than 90 outlets throughout the central Colorado mountains in locations from Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Vail, Breckenridge and Denver within a few months of launching to market.

The Product

Stoneyard Distillery is currently aging a gold rum in Colorado bourbon barrels from the Breckenridge Distillery and Laws Whiskey House and will also launch Cinnamon Fire rum in spring 2016. Stoneyard’s Batch 22 silver rum retails from $20 for 750ml. Stoneyard offers its specialty drinks – Grog and Coffee in its tasting room and plans to have these drinks for sale at retail in the near future.

Batch 22 Silver

Strong bready nose, with a hint of apple scent.  Mellow, Creamy, and Buttery texture.  Slightly sweet, neutral but distinctive spirit flavor with a slightly sharp aromatic quality.  Finishes with a light pleasant burn, dry and neutral after taste that lingers pleasantly.

Cinnamon Fire

Very sweet hot cinnamon nose and flavor, with little else to distract from that.  Hot spiciness is present from beginning to end and holds on in the aftertaste, carrying down the back of the mouth and throat.  Leaves a sweet but fresh pallet.

Barrel #2 Aged

Very sweet nose with a light distinct woodiness.  Light and airy in the mouth and carrying some pleasant heat on the tongue, slight caramel flavor, with a nice earthiness.  Dry and complex after taste with oak present throughout.

Where To Drink

Stoneyard’s signature silver rum is available in more than 90 retailers across Colorado, with Denver outlets including Apple Jacks, Argonaut, Heritage Wine & Liquor, Mr. B’s and Joy Wine & Spirits. Stoneyard Distillery is also available in a number of leading restaurants and bars, with plans to launch a program of pairing dinners alongside high profile chefs such as Mark Fischer of Town and Phat Thai. Stoneyard’s tasting room, located on-site at the Dotsero distillery, is open Wednesday-Saturday, from 4-8pm. Stoneyard products are available for retail, along with a range of cocktails including the Dotsero Donkey- a play on the traditional Moscow Mule, plus other rum-based favorites. Tours of the distillery operations are also available.  4600 HWY 6, Dotsero, CO 81637. For more information, call 970-471-0284. www.stoneyarddistillery.com

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