|Mayor Gierlach and Neil Sullivan, Co-Founder|
of Spirit Hound Distillers, at Boettcher Mansion
After Governor Hickenlooper came to Nederland last week, I figured the least I could do, was return the favor, attend the holiday celebration at the Governor's residence, and thank him once again. Upon arrival, I found my way to the bar and asked for a glass of Cabernet. The bartender said they didn't have any. "Alright, how about a snifter of scotch, neat." Didn't have that either. "Martini? Shaken, not stirred?"
As it turns out, the bartender explained that the historic Boettcher Mansion has white marble floors that could get stained, so the owners of the estate only allow clear drinks. He added that the Governor had ordered Spirit Hound Gin for the mansion. I went with that.
[Related Story: Governor Hickenlooper's visit to Nederland]
Spirit Hound Distillers, are a hand-crafted, micro-distillery, located in Lyons, Colorado, which was impacted by the flood. Here's the write-up on their gin:
"Quite possibly the smoothest and most unique Gin out there, Spirit Hound Gin is made from only the finest locally sourced botanicals. Juniper berries, anise, fennel, clove, and cinnamon to name a few, are all hand selected from the earth of our sweet town in Lyons. We then craft our Gin using the rare 'basket' method, suspending our signature mix of botanicals in a delicate wire mesh basket in the column of the still. The vaporized spirit then passes through this botanical basket and extracts their flavors. The result: a brighter, lighter gin bursting with aroma and flavor."
I found this gin to be bright, fresh, smooth – the fennel/anise/clove notes are quite interesting, and compliments the Juniper very well. To that end, I can't wait to try their whisky when I'm not in a white marbled mansion.
As I made my way around the Governor's mansion, I had the pleasure of meeting Neil Sullivan, one of the co-founders of Spirit Hound Distillers, and we had a great conversation about the flood, mountain culture and local distinctiveness. Bringing back micro-distilleries, micro-breweries, and local groceries is appealing to me from a community sustainability perspective.
[Related Story: Holiday Celebration at the Governor's Mansion (last year)]
Lyons and Nederland are similar in many ways – population, strong community volunteerism, proximity to Boulder and federal open space. There are a lot of connections between the two communities and many Nedheads attend RockyGrass at Planet Bluegrass every year. Personally, I've been a member of Stonebridge Farm CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) in Lyons, for over a decade and have stopped in at local shops on my way home many times (via the scenic route).
I would like to recommend that our Nederland liquor stores and restaurants carry Spirit Hound Distillers whisky and gin, and that Nedheads make a point to order it this holiday season as we look for unique ways for the region to recover from the flood. Click here for a list of where Spirit Hound is sold. Of course, drink responsibly, but if you are given the choice, think about choosing Spirit Hound Distillers. Trust me. You won't be disappointed.