About Leopold Bros. Small Batch Apple Whiskey
Situated in an industrial complex on the outskirts of Denver, Leopold Bros. Distillery is the brainchild of Todd Leopold. After receiving his diploma in Malting and Brewing from the Siebel Institute in Chicago, Todd moved to Germany and began working at the Doemens School of Brewers and Maltsters in Munich. Then, he apprenticed at four different breweries and distilleries in Germany, before moving to Kentucky to study distilling. In 2008, Todd, along with his brother Scott, moved back to his parents' home in Littleton, Colorado and opened the doors to Leopold Bros. Distillery.
Together, the Leopold Brothers attempt to marry chemistry with poetry — and it's working.
Leopold Bros. American Small Batch Whiskey is made using a traditional sour mash, which is distilled for an entire day in order to extract the full, round flavors of the locally-sourced corn and rye. After distilling the whiskey twice, Todd brings it to 86 proof before barreling it in charred, American oak barrels. By proofing the whiskey prior to barreling it, Leopold is able to ensure that more of the whiskey comes into contact with the barrel, giving it smoother and more robust notes of brown sugar and molasses.
Leopold Bros. New York Apple Whiskey is made from heirloom apples that Leopold sources from the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York. Leopold intentionally uses a wide range of apples, including the rare Maccoun apple (generally regarded at the finest type of apple ever produced), in order to add complexity and flavor to to the whiskey. After the apples have been harvested, they are pressed and their fresh nectar is gently blended with Leopold Bros. Whiskey. Then, the entire blend is re-barreled in used bourbon barrels for additional maturation. "What's great is that the apples oxidize in the barrel, yielding more complex dried fruit, apricot, and raisin flavors that really make the spirit work," says Leopold. The finishing process also adds notes of oak and vanilla to the whiskey, which finishes with a subtle touch of fresh apple.
Leopold Bros. George Peach Whiskey is made from ripened freestone and clingstone peaches sourced from Georgia. Clingstone peaches, as their name implies, have a yellow flesh that stubbornly clings to the pits of the peach. Freestone peaches, which are slightly firmer and less juicy than clingstone peaches, have more texture and a slightly milder flavor. After destoning the peaches, "I add a second step to the distilling process,"Todd says. "I put the whiskey back into the still with some of the peach stones that were removed prior to juicing — for redistillation. This adds a soft, bitter almond undertone that greatly adds to the peach flavors."
After the whiskey is distilled with the peach stones, Leopold blends it with the peach puree he makes from the Georgia peaches and pours the entire blend into used bourbon barrels. The peach whiskey, which earned a Gold Medal at the Beverage Tasting Institute Competition, has subtle notes of honey and citrus, which complement the flavors of the peach and almonds.
After aging, each batch of Leopold Bros. Whiskey — a batch produces only about 240 bottles — is bottled by hand with a label indicating the barrel number from which it came.
"Boy, I had some hand problems at the end of last year,"Todd says, "but it lets people understand that this really is a craft. It's something that hasn't come off an assembly line; it's very much small batch. It's something special."
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About American Whiskey
There are two main representatives of the American whiskey family, bourbon, and rye, but some other spirits don't fall into those two strictly regulated categories.
There's equally strictly regulated American single malt, made from 100% malted barley, Tennessee whiskey, essentially bourbon filtered through maple charcoal and aged in new charred oak barrels.
And then there's moonshine, a high proof (150- 170 proof) distilled spirit mainly made out of corn which gained popularity during the prohibition.
Check out our impressive selection of American single malts, or find your new favorite in our rich whisk(e)y selection, and get familiarized with what the world has to offer.