American Whiskey - Double Diamond Whiskey
Downslope Special Whiskey
Down Slope Distilling, Littleton, Colorado
INGREDIENTS: Grain - 65 % Maris Otter Malt, 35 % Rye
PROOF: 80 (40%)
AGE: Varies- aprox 1 year in different barrels
TYPE: American Whiskey
PRICE: $32.00 - 750 ML
Notes: A small micro distillery put together by three partners who are passionate about adult beverages (they got their start in homebrewing beer) and threw themselves into research on how to take the next step into micro distilling.
Using a custom designed pot and column stills, a unique filtration process, and techniques they describe as more artisanal than state of the art in limited space they have somehow still managed to create an impressive portfolio of products which include: Cane Vodka, Grain Vodka, Pepper Vodka, White Rum, Gold Rum, Vanilla Spiced Rum, Wine Barrel Aged Rum, and a Malt Whiskey.
This whiskey has a rather complicated genealogy or aging process. Made from Maris Otter 2 Row Barley Malt and rye this product is distilled to about 100 proof ( lower proof lends a lot more flavor - industry standard is usually around 120 or so) and is then aged in 59 gallon wine barrels for 3-6 moths with a charred oak stave and some aeration. It is then transferred after it has aged to profile (3-6 months depending) to a smaller (5 gallon) whiskey cask to further age and mellow. When they have decided it has reached maturation it is then stepped down to 80 proof using Colorado Mountain springwater and bottled
Appearance: Amber gold color, very clear. Darker than some 4 year-old bourbons. Thin edge line on the glass when you swirl it, smooth layer of whisky on swirling.
First Impression: Wow, this one has more going on then anything else we have smelled in a long time. Notes of apple, cherry fruit, sherry, vanilla, and oak char on nosing.
Taste: Nicely complex malt and barley notes with a fair amount of dried fruits, touches of caramelized citrus, and spice. More than reminiscent of a good Irish whiskey but with more character than many. Finish is warm and bracing.
Drinks: No known drinks specifically for this whisky.The complex wood aging of the whiskey and the malt blend does give it some unique characteristics that could probably yield some excellent cocktails. Think of it as bourbon or Irish whiskey with bitters or more wood added to the profile. I think it would also make for some outstanding gourmet food pairings also, especially game or seafood.
Cigars:Partagas or Rocky Patel corona sized natural wrapper.
Final Thoughts: Really quite a lot of quality and complexity for the price. With the rise of much younger than usual whiskies (and even white unaged whiskies) we are seeing a lot more acceptance and appreciation of younger styles and profiles of whiskey and I personally think it is quite entertaining and a departure from the usual even among the new ones. Remember this is a (roughly) 1 year old whiskey, not 12 years, so sit back and enjoy as it is and think about how future older releases may develop. Also the price is very modest for the quality and aging compared to many of it's competitors. All a plus in my mind
Bottle: Short apothecary shaped clear glass bottle with with very simple label. Wine red neck band and label with white script. Simple package shows the color of the whiskey nicely.
Web site: http://www.downslopedistilling.com
Fast loading with a minimal amount of information. Easy-to-read with good content (especially the story/manifesto) and descriptions of products, if a bit terse.