Steamboat Sips: Rye Wine & Whiskey Après
January 12, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — There's a new whiskey and wine bar on the block. And they're celebrating après all day.
Located in Torian Plum Plaza, Rye Wine & Whiskey Après is serving up whiskey flights and illustrious wines like Prisoner's red blend, Cooper and Thief's red blend and Robert Mondavi's bourbon barrel blends.
"We've carefully curated the whiskey selected, and it's tripled in offerings than in previous years from what the Steamboat Base Club had," said Leighton Cramer, manager of Rye Wine & Whiskey Après.
With happy hour starting at 2 p.m. and continuing until close – never before 7 p.m. and if they're busy, they’ll stay open later – Rye also offers a menu featuring gourmet sandwiches, salads, soups and small plates.
"Rye whiskey is one of the fastest growing spirits in the country, so part of the idea with Rye was to capitalize on that and give people an opportunity to try a variety of whiskies," Cramer said.
The whiskey flights, based on the brand of whiskey or "build your own," feature three one-ounce pours, served with a description of each.
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"We offer a variety of options for different palates like the double-oaked Woodford Reserve to the bolder flavor profile whiskies like the Laws, 100 percent Colorado-made whiskey," Cramer said.
Another option to try is the Jack Daniels flight, featuring a batch Jack Daniels made just for Steamboat, called the Steamboat Bourbon.
"We wanted to focus on as many local regional whiskies as we could," said Cramer, who selected the whiskey options on the menu out of 45 different options. "It was all about tasting and which ones had the most memorable taste as well as suggestions from customers on what they wanted to see."
Aside from the flights, Rye offers a variety of cocktails. From these, whiskey is the main attraction of a majority like the Boulevardier, Law's Sazerac, Rye Manhattan and of course, the Old Fashioned.
"The old fashioned and Manhattans really are a staple in any whiskey bar,” said Mike McMullen, bartender at Rye. “It's a classic cocktail that lets the actual whiskey shine through a bit more."
The old school method, according to McMullen, is to muddle the cherry, orange and sugar in the glass as spirits become more complex, but Rye wanted to take a more simplistic route, eliminating sweetness and letting the orange zest around the rim of the glass enhance the cocktails memorable taste.