“Do you have a flagship spirit?” I ask Rory Donovan, the owner and distiller at Peach Street Distillers in Palisade, Colorado.
“We have a fleet without a flag,” he replies.
Peach Street really does have a wide array of products — the triple distilled Goat Artisan Vodka, the Peach Goat Vodka flavored with local peaches, 2 grappas, Jackelope Gin named after the creatures who live among Colorado’s juniper berries, Colorado Straight Bourbon, and peach, pear, and plum brandy.
Peach Street Distillery’s location was carefully chosen for the huge fruit yields that Colorado’s Western slope offers. “We are located in an area that is surrounded by orchards,” says Donovan. “The lion’s share of our peaches never see the inside of the cooler. That is the key to making good brandy — I wish I could attribute our mastermind distilling techniques, but I think the bottom line is that we’re able to get some really high-quality stuff.”
Their distilling know-how is certainly not in question. Given Peach Street Distillers just won the American Distilling Institute (ADI) award for 2012 Distillery of the Year, I think there is some serious skill in their distilling techniques. Donovan is modest.
Beyond their recent recognition at the ADI conference, Peach Street’s fruit products have consistently won spirits competitions, and their success paved the way for Donovan and his team to start making bourbon. In 2008, they premiered Colorado’s first legal bourbon since Prohibition. There were 200 bottles of Colorado Straight Bourbon in the first batch, and this year the distillery plans to produce more than 100 barrels.
Peach Street’s bourbon victories can largely be attributed to that fact that these guys know their beer. Donovan’s co-founders Bill Graham and David Thibodeau, who are also co-founders of Durango’s Ska Brewing Company.
As many good whiskey makers will tell you, good whiskey starts as a good beer. And as many brandy makers will tell you, good brandy starts with good fruit. Peach Street Distillers have their bases covered.
Spirits from Peach Street Distilling:
Colorado Straight Bourbon
Goat Artisan Vodka
Jack and Jenny Peach Brandy
Jack and Jenny Pear Brandy
Jack and Jenny Plum Brandy
Peach Goat Vodka
Grappa of Gewurztraminer
Grappa of Viognier