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Leopold Bros. makes wide range of spirits from tiny Denver distillery

Leopold Bros. selection at DaveCo Liquors.

Leopold Bros. makes a wide range of distilled spirits at their tiny distillery in north Denver. They have been quietly making a name for themselves and have won multiple medals from the Beverage Tasting Institute. Kristin Forsch, Director of Sales for Leopold Bros., was recently at Daveco Liquors giving samples of their products, talking about how the spirits are made, and sharing cocktail recipe cards.

Colorado law allows liquor-store patrons up to four small samples, but this would not have even come close to allowing a full range of tastes from what Leopold Bros. offers. Although they all looked good, I narrowed down my choices to the Thomas and Leopold Single Barrel Dark Rum and the Leopold Bros. New York Apple Whiskey and Absinthe Verte.

Kristin explained that the rum is made from a combination of molasses and cane sugar and is aged in charred oak barrels, which gives the rum a smooth and complex character. While rum is typically a Caribbean product, this Colorado-made rum would be right at home next to a plate of plantain fritters or Jamaican jerked chicken.

The New York Apple Whiskey was sweet and smooth with a distinct apple flavor and slightly smokey whiskey finish. This was good on its own, but I also thought it would be a great addition to a mixed drink. Leopold Bros. recommends it in a Manhattan or with orange liqueur and hint of Absinthe Verte in a Newton's Martini. Absinthe has only been legal in the US for a short time and Leopold Bros. was one of the first American producers to take advantage of the legal change. Their Absinthe Verte has a distinct anise flavor but is much more complex and herbal than typical anise liqueurs like Pernod or pastisse. It’s not a spirit for everyone, but I recommend trying it at least once.

For more info: Leopold Bros. distillery is generally not open to the public, but gives tastings at metro area liquor stores. Check out their calendar of events to see where you can taste their offerings. Daveco Liquors is located at 16434 N. Washington St. in Thornton.


  • Col. Hector Bravado 5 years ago

    I'll be damned. Hadn't heard of these guys before.
    What I want to know is: do you know if it's plausible that anyone in Denver or Colorado could be making moonshine? Like, the real stuff. I used to help run a magazine that sponsored a hillbilly-themed happy hour. ONe of the bar's managers showed up with a jug of the real — driven in by his cousin who lived near the Illinois-Kentucky border. I had just a capful, and never quite forgot it.

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