"Happy Accident" at Distillery 291 Results in a Spicy New Whiskey

Colorado Springs whiskey maker Distillery 291 recently released a new whiskey that was made — literally — by accident. An unexpected doubling of the amount of rye in the process of distilling 291’s flagship Colorado Bourbon Whiskey resulted in a whiskey with a spicier flavor than originally planned. Owner and head distiller Michael Myers who, earlier this year won high acclaim for his whiskies at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, enjoyed the accidental whiskey’s flavor, and decided to feature it for sampling in the distillery’s tasting room. In July, he decided to bottle, it, calling it, aptly, High Rye Bourbon.

“This is a bourbon you’ll want to sip neat or on the rocks,” Myers says. “High Rye gives you the sensation of the taste after you eat french toast, and you want it to last forever.” High Rye Bourbon is the ninth whiskey made by Distillery 291. It is bottled at 100 proof, and contains, 67% corn, 32% malted rye and 1% malted barley.

The distilling accident occurred when too much rye was added to the recipe for 291’s flagship whiskey, Colorado Whiskey. “We accidentally stumbled upon this recipe,” Myers explains. “Our assistant distiller, at the time, asked me how much rye to use and I thought he meant corn so the rye was doubled. The result was better than we could have imagined, and now we’re proud to have it as a seasonal offering.”

The feedback about the new whiskey was so overwhelmingly positive that Myers decided to repeat the “mistake” — and bottle the new whiskey. In July, just under 300 bottles were released, with plans to continue production each year, as a limited release.

While the High Rye Bourbon boasts a distinctively rye-heavy flavor profile, it’s actually got a lot in common with its siblings in the Distillery 291 lineup of whiskies. For instance, all of the whiskies are finished in oak barrels, with the addition of charred Aspen wood.

High Rye Bourbon, like 291’s other whiskies, is also a potent whiskey, at 100 proof. Their lightest whiskey is still strong at 90 proof.

High Rye Bourbon retails for $80 to $85 (for a 75-centiliter bottle) at liquor stores in the area, including Argonaut Liquors, Molly’s Sprits and Tipsy’s Liquor World. The new whiskey can also be enjoyed at Work & Class, Stoic & Genuine, Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen, The Cooper Lounge and Butcher’s Bistro.
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Kevin Galaba
Contact: Kevin Galaba