Distillery Visit at Deerhammer Distilling Co in Buena Vista, Colorado: Four Grain Bourbon
Lenny Eckstein, owner, co-founder, and head distiller at Deerhammer Distilling Co heard me and Dan talking about young whiskey on a recent podcast and reached out to invite up to his distillery. He felt like he could help us understand distillation and maturation more fully and improve our understanding of what we taste in the glass. He was right. We tasted Deerhammer distillate just days off the still and Lenny walked us through his process as we tasted. We talked about barrel entry proofs, filtration, barrel selection, and maturation planning. It was enlightening, to say the least. Here, we taste through some four-grain bourbon including some in the experimental stage. In addition to all previously mention whiskey geekery, Lenny talks about trying out a slow-cut method of proofing distillate slowly vs all at once and we hear even more about crystal malt. This is truly craft. Come on. 105 proof entering the barrel? Every barrel is heavily toasted before the char? That is awesome and so uncommon these days.
Established in 2010 and operational in late 2011, Deerhammer is one of the bright stars in craft whiskey and certainly an important part of craft distilling in Colorado. A deep understanding of fermentation born of years spent in the rabbit hole of brewing beer and a willingness to create bold flavors in and out of the bounds of traditional distillation results in absolutely delicious whiskey.
We'll have additional videos from our time at Deerhammer including a tour of the distillery, tasting room, and more. We came away from this visit with renewed enthusiasm for craft whiskey and we can't thank Lenny and Amy Eckstein enough for so generously sharing their time, knowledge, and whiskey with us. Cheers!