After a long, hard day on the slopes, a cold beer is just reward. But with micro-distilleries popping up in ski towns across the country (Colorado now boasts 45 in all), we're starting to think that a great sipping rum or rye neat just might be the ultimate après ski indulgence. Below, some of our favorite places to unwind when the sun goes down.
Montanya Rum, Crested Butte, CO: Step into this vast working distillery and tasting room, and belly up to the bar for complementary pours of the crisp, clean Platino Light Rum, or the exceptionally smooth, smoky Oro Dark Rum. Better yet, choose a cocktail from the extensive list of house-created libations, and prepare to stay awhile. There isn't a full menu but the available appetizers are quite tasty.
High West Distillery & Saloon, Park City, UT: Rye rules at this, the nation's only ski-in distillery. Choose from a selection of five different styles, ranging from blends to a 21-year, oak barrel aged.
RoughStock Distillery, Bozeman, MT: 100% Montana-made rye whiskey, made with pure malt, spring wheat, sweet corn, or straight rye. A standout is the single-barrel-aged Black Label, a heady blend of dark berry fruit with notes of coffee, toffee, and dark chocolate.
Woody Creek Distillers, Aspen, CO: The killer green construction and design isn't the only reason to visit this boutique producer, which just celebrated its grand opening last week, although Colorado beetle kill pine and copper German make for stylish sipping. Rather, the owners have their own farm (they grow the potatoes for their stellar vodka, for starters), and what they don't' grow is locally sourced. Savor gin made with local juniper, and bourbon and whiskey made with Olathe corn, and a pear eau-de-vie from Paonia fruit are forthcoming.
Breckenridge Distillery, CO: Bourbon, vodka, and bitters are just a few of the elixirs produced at the "world's highest distillery (9600 feet)" which uses local snowmelt for its proofing. You can pop by the distillery for a free tour, or hit the downtown tasting room; the high-octane vodka's minerality is said to provide one of the few "vodka terroirs" in existence.
· Woody Creek Distillers Opens Near Aspen [Curbed Ski]