Leopold Bros American Small Batch Whiskey
Leopold Bros American begin by fermenting a traditional sour mash of corn and rye at colder temperatures, but without the aid of refrigeration. Fermentation takes more time this way, but results in a softer whiskey and develops subtle flavors such as vanilla, pear, and raspberry. We then distill the mash in our small batch copper pot still on grain to extract fuller and rounder flavors from the corn and rye. Finally, we barrel the distillate at the pre-prohibition standard of 98 proof, so that the barrel may add subtle notes of oak and vanilla and does not overpower the finished whiskey.
Leopold Bros American Distillery is located in Denver, Colorado. They ferment their American Small Batch Whiskey mash in the traditional sour-mash method, utilizing a mash bill of corn, rye, and barley. It is barreled in charred American white oak at pre-Prohibition standard 98-proof. This whiskey, which was first released in 2010, is still bottled at 86 proof and bears no age statement.
As part of their traditional whiskey-making techniques, the brothers employ the use of large, unrefrigerated open fermentation tanks crafted from Oregon pine and allow the native yeasts present in the air around the distillery to populate these tanks for a true wild fermentation.
Their experience in manipulating nuances of grain flavors also led Leopold to construct one of America’s few true malting floors, which allows for strict control over the grain’s taste profile through a carefully-monitored 55 degree sprouting and kiln-drying process which takes place in-house.
Pale, dull straw with notes of gold trying to push their way through the mediocre appearance. She’s certainly not a looker. Legs are present, they’re not as rich and thick as most in this whiskey range.
Graham cracker jumps out in the first breath, mild toffee and fresh banana follow in the second. Exploration of the aroma brings out a nuance that is reminiscent of cooked carrots. There is a touch of wet wool and everything is held together by an underlying note of dried vanilla bean.
Perhaps it’s the voodoo cast upon me by the extreme partisanship I’ve detailed above, but I swear I can taste the soft, yet true nature of both corn and rye here. There is a silky texture present which allows these flavors to linger and helps combat a pretty high heat level.