Drinking Goat at the Goat

For the last few weeks, I've been searching for Colorado's best artisan liquor. I've searched high and I've searched low. I've gone to the ends of the earth (or at least to the end of the block) to find those bars brave enough to stock and serve the products of Colorado's micro-distilleries. And now I have come back -- like the classic Campbellian hero -- with boons to share with you.

The most recent find? Goat artisan vodka -- courtesy of Peach Street Distillers out of Palisade and served, appropriately enough, at the Fainting Goat, right down the street from my office at 846 Broadway.

Unfortunately, I'm not a fan. Goat's big claim to fame is the fact that only Colorado ingredients were used to make the vodka (including Olathe sweet corn and pure Rocky Mountain agua), but I'm something of a vodka purist: Give me the potato juice or just don't bother.

Goat is pointless in a cocktail, and best served ice-cold and neat or over some well-packed rocks if your bartender is pulling it off the call rack. But even when served properly, from the very first sip, Goat comes on too strong. Its first burn is like downing a shot of lighter fluid and, almost immediately, it goes from rough-and-tumble back-street hooch to overly complex, artsy, cloying and oddly soapy -- like drinking a bargain vodka out of a plastic jug dosed with a shot of dishwashing detergent.

Basically, even just one shot is like a whole night out with a crazy woman, and two or three (or four or five...) can play out like an entire dysfunctional one-night stand. Sure, you know you're gonna get where you're going (either bed or blind drunk, respectively), but in either case, the trip ain't exactly gonna be pleasant.

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