DownSlope Distilling Double Diamond Whisky
Whiskey Review: DownSlope Distilling Double Diamond Whiskey 79.5/100
Downslope Distilling is the creation of three enterprising individuals, Mitch Abate, Matt Causey and Andy Causey. They began their experimentation and passion for alcoholic spirits as home brewers. Andy dedicated himself to researching advanced wort production and home brewing techniques; Mitch traveled the country learning as much as he could about how whiskey was made: and Matt perfecting the art of grain mashing and fermentation. Two years ago they decided to combine their talents and produce their brand of hand crafted spirits. Then they spent a year researching how this could be done, selecting the right facility, and acquiring the right equipment. Finally, they set out to establish Centennial Colorado’s first craft distillery.
Using their custom designed still and artisan wash production, Mitch Abate, Andy Causey, and Matt Causey are close to realizing their goal of producing spirits of high quality.
Pictured to the right is the Double Diamond Pot Still which is used to produce Downslope Distilling’s whiskey. The still was made by Copper Moonshine Stills in Arkansas, by Colonel Vaughn Wilson. The whiskey is produced in the Irish tradition, being made primarily with malted barley. One taste of it however, and you will realize as well that a significant portion must be rye. The whiskey is aged in very small experienced medium toast casks and then blended.
Currently Double-Diamond whiskey is available in the distillery’s tasting room sold in 1 liter wooden oak casks. I love this idea for its uniqueness and the ambiance it creates. The only drawback is that the oak will continue to impart its flavour to the spirit so it must be monitored and perhaps bottled when the oak begins to produce more bitter tannin and before you lose too much alcohol through evaporation.
DownSlope’s Double Diamond Whiskey is also available in a short squat clear bottle. It is sealed with a nice high density cork which provides that satisfying ‘pop’ when opened. The labeling is clear and uncluttered and the entire presentation is professional and attractive. I was given one of these bottles for the purpose of this review. My bottle was Barrel number WR-oo3, bottle number 24.
In the Glass 8/10
The whisky displays itself as a pale brown coloured spirit. There is no haze or hints of detracting sediments. A very light oil is present on the sides of the glass when it is swirled, and small skinny legs form and run down the sides of the glass. The portion of rye in the distillate speaks clearly on the nose. This obvious rye note carries a light vanilla and honey with vague hints of anise. In spite of the Irish heritage of the malted barley, the impression one receives from the glass is that of a young slightly immature Canadian Whisky with a mild harshness and medicinal quality.
In the Mouth 47.5/60
A light vegetal quality minces with the rye flavour in the mouth, and there is a gentle underlying sweetness which must stem from the malted barley. Although the rye flavour carries forward that typical ‘Canadian Whisky’ impression, we begin to taste an assertion of the ‘Irish Whiskey’ style as well. I taste sandalwood, but very little very little oak spice and only fleeting morsels of vanilla and caramel. A firm anise quality rises in the flavour profile which begins to meld with the rye grain.
To be honest I find this very enjoyable, although it is perhaps just a tad under developed. The structure of a good whiskey is in place, and I am excited by the thought of how the whisky would taste with additional aging.
In the Throat 11/15
The further we travel through the course of Double Diamond whiskey the more the flavour profile directs itself towards the Irish style. At the exit the whisky is full of sandalwood and an herbal anise-like quality that I recognize from a typical Irish whisky like Jameson. There is perhaps a touch of harshness but it is a youthfulness as well which one might call invigorating.
The Afterburn 8/10
I am impressed with DownSlope Distilling’s first whisky product. There is much evidence of craftsmanship and attention to detail. I can sip the whisky neat even though it is not well aged which is a feat of mastery by the distiller and blender.
You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
I did a little experimentation with the Double Diamond Whisky and found it to be very versatile. Although I found I could enjoy the whiskey neat or on the rocks, I also found that the spiciness added a nice layer of depth to some of my favourite whisky cocktails. The recipe I selected to share on my blog is based upon a classic Irish Cocktail, the Irish Fizz. My recipe is a little different and I call it the Double Diamond Fizz.
1 1/2 oz DownSlope Double Diamond Whiskey
1/2 oz Curacao
juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
1/2 tsp sugar syrup
2 oz sparkling orange water
As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)