Tour and taste with 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company (video) |

Tour and taste with 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company (video)

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to put away the whiskey and bring out clear liquors like vodka or gin. Whiskey pairs incredibly well with citrus to make a variety of summer cocktails and is great with barbecue ribs or even grilled peaches.

Curious about what differentiates bourbon and whiskey? It’s actually quite simple: All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.

Bourbon is an American-made whiskey that originated in Kentucky, where the majority of bourbon producers distill. But you don’t have to reside in Kentucky, or even the South, to legally make bourbon. The only geographical requisite is that it’s made in the U.S. Any state can produce a whiskey and name it bourbon.

Colorado is widely known for its craft beer industry, but distilleries are popping up as well. According to the Colorado Tourism Office, there are over 90 distilleries across the state.

Locally, you’ll find 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company with their distillery in Gypsum and tasting room in Vail Village.

“We figured someone would start making whiskey in the valley, so we said it might as well be us,” said Ryan Thompson, co-founder of 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company along with Christian Avignon.

The pair attended Moonshine University in Louisville, Kentucky where they learned the science and chemistry, history and hands-on distilling techniques they could bring home to Colorado.

The name pays homage to the 10th Mountain Division soldiers who trained just south of Vail at Camp Hale, Colorado in the 1940s and went on to fight in World War II. Avignon’s grandfather was also a medic in the 10th.

The local distillery does a lot for veterans today, including donating funds, their facility and barrels of whiskey for fundraising purposes to the Vail Veterans Program. They also have created a new nonprofit called War Angel Concerts, which aims to provide a controlled venue for vets with PTSD to see their favorite bands.

Learn how they make their whiskey in today’s video at

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