View Full Version : Leopold Bros. expanding distillery

08-09-2012, 10:12
I caught a few articles regarding Leopold Bros. move within Denver, down the block from where they are now, expanding to seven stills from five, and a few tidbits caught my eye.


In this article, Todd mentions that "...half the reason we're building this is for the Maryland Rye." Great news if that refers to ramping up production of the MR! I've heard great things about it but haven't got to taste it yet. I understand it hits stores sometime around Thanksgiving?


He also talks about intensive landscaping around air intake ducts:

"We'll plant columbines, roses, lavender and honeysuckle, which are important to the grounds, because they add flavor notes and complexity to the whiskey over time," he says. The flowers -- mostly food plants -- he continues, will be "right next to the air intake, with the notion that the microscopic amounts of pollen, wild yeast or plant material will fall into the wooden fermenters, and over time, give it character -- give it terroir."

Well that kind of blows my mind. I have never heard that plants surrounding a distillery could be responsible for its character or terroir, and it certainly never occurred to me on my own, but it sounds damn exciting! Another piece of the 'what makes whiskey from so-and-so distillery so unique' puzzle.

Best of luck with the expansion Leopolds!

08-09-2012, 15:22
I guess this is good news. With their expansion maybe they can ship a few cases of their whiskey to the KC area. I have read about them in the past and would be very interested in trying some of their products.

Bourbon Boiler
08-09-2012, 17:20
Good to see the expansion, and very interesting note about the vegetation.

08-10-2012, 05:02
Todd's as sharp as they come. When other craft guys have questions, they call Todd...me included. He's also a big supporter of other craft distillers not only within his region, but nationally...which is good for all of us. On the ADI forum, he often talks of secondary fermentation, lacto, wild yeasts and the like. It's not surprising that he's doing so much to further his house flavor and terrior. I've had his whiskey, gin, and blackberry whiskey and they are all very good products.

I knew he had switched over to wooden fermenters pretty recently but I had no idea of his impending expansion. Congrats to those guys. They are good people.

08-10-2012, 20:40
That's very kind of you to say, smooth ambler. Thank you.

As for the plants and wild yeasts and whatnot adding to the character of the whiskey, it happens all the time with spirits around the world. Ever see a photo of a Scottish wooden mash tun with decades old gears sitting right in the mash? Or a 2nd world mezcal or rum distillery that's halfway outdoors? Those distilleries are rife with bacteria and wild yeasts that will change the character of the fermentation and therefore the finished spirit, adding depth and complexity that you can't get in a unicellular (one yeast) environment.

All that we're doing is encouraging these organisms, rather than pursuing the modern method of brewing and distilling where the operators are doing everything possible to operate aseptically.

Appreciate the interest. As we come closer to opening, I'll be sure to post photos and such.

11-14-2012, 16:42
Had a chance to pick up the American Whiskey. Nicely done, sippin' spirit. a generally milder offering, but a very good drink.