Boulder’s Vapor Distillery released their American single malt whiskey after five years of production

Alastair Brogan, owner of Vapor Distillery in Boulder, came over to the United States from the UK six years ago with a copper pot still and the intention to make an American single malt whiskey. On Sunday, July 1, 2018 Vapor will release their American single malt whiskey, the result of five years of production. 

Brogan wants to be clear — the whiskey they have crafted is in no way a scotch. 

“We’re not making a scotch or even trying to imitate it,” Brogan explains. “We’re making an American single malt whiskey that will be incredibly unique and very different.” 

Brogan noted that single malt whiskey requires the utilization of five components: barley, yeast, barrels, still and terroir, another term to describe the environment in which the whiskey is made. He mentioned that for the most part, people typically utilize the same barley and yeast in whiskey production.

What makes Vapor’s spirits unique is the water found here in Colorado and terroir, due to the state’s high-altitude and dry climate. 

“What is really, really unique about Colorado is the difference [that] we’re at an altitude and climate that allows barrels to breathe very, very fast because of pressure differences,” Brogan says. “It doesn’t mature faster per say. But all the elements of maturation — it happens quicker because of our environment. Also, the water is very different. The water here is spectacular, as it is in Scotland.” 

Another element that makes Vapor’s spirits unique is their slower production process. Larger distilleries are more concerned with yield while Vapor remains focused on their product’s quality and taste. 

“When we cut heads and tails in the distillation process, we do it differently,” Brogan says. “We don’t get as much yield but we get a better quality product and a smoother product.” 

He continues: “For example, what would happen in Scotland is they would literally be running the still until it’s water then cut it off and extract as much alcohol as possible. We cut it out very, very early. The terminology is we cut our tails very early, so that gives us a smoother taste and a more complex taste.”

So as the sunlight stretches later into the evening and the temptation to spend an evening in good company on a patio increases, remember that sipping Vapor’s single malt whiskey is a moment to savor.