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Santa Fe Spirits Breaks the Mold as Southwest's Small Artisan Distillery

By Elisha Neubauer

In the liquor world, it can sometimes be hard to make a name for yourself as a small distillery. However, Santa Fe Spirits found a way to break the mold, establishing themselves as a popular brand in the local area by creating unique flavors and products that can hold their own, even against larger, mass-marketed distilleries.

"We make our single malt a little differently," explains Adam Vincent, Marketing Manager for Santa Fe Spirits. "We use mesquite-smoked barley instead of peat-smoked barley (like a Scotch) for a unique take on single malt. The smoke is sweeter and meatier than a Scotch. We also age about 30% of the whiskey in new oak barrels, and this gives the whiskey a little more sweetness for the American palate."

Founded in 2010, Santa Fe Spirits set out with a goal in mind: to become the Southwest's pre-eminent artisan distillery. They boast a wide range of products, including everything from silver whiskey to barrel-aged apple brandy. "Our Colkegan Single Malt uses mesquite smoked barley for a Southwest take on a Scotch whiskey," details Vincent.

"Our Wheeler's Western Dry Gin uses local botanicals like cholla cactus blossoms, desert sage, juniper, osha root and hops for a taste/smell that is reminiscent of the desert after a rain. Atapino uses roasted pinon and ponderosa pine resin we get locally- it smells and tastes like the high pine forests around Santa Fe." When it comes to their Atapino, Vincent mentions it is only made twice a year, making it limited in availability.

"We offer tours at the distillery Thursday, Friday, and Sat at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. (book online)," states Vincent. Private cocktail and whiskey classes are also available for those looking to geek out on their booze. In addition to these tours and classes, the downtown tasting room serves amazing cocktails which are all crafted from handmade ingredients, including homemade ginger beer, homemade tonic and fresh-squeezed juices.

When it comes to awards, Santa Fe Spirits really takes the cake...having a laundry list of prestigious recognitions. Some of their most notable ones include a Gold Medal from American Distiller's Institute for their Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey, the 2015 Best of Category from the American Distiller's Institute for their Wheeler's Gin, a Gold medal from the Denver International Spirits Competition for their Santa Fe Spirits Apple Brandy, and a Double Gold from the Fifty Best for their Expedition Vodka. Of course, these are only the tip of the iceberg. To see a full list of their award collection, you can visit their website or stop on by.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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