Cowboy Country Distilling
A Valentine's Day Tasting Room Debut
by Terry Allen
February 15, 2018
Tim T. Trites started distilling with his Scottish grandfather at age 8 over in Golden, Colorado. "I had my fingers in it all the time," he smiled. Since then, he has worked all around the world at various distilleries with the dream of someday owning his own.
In a room decorated in historic photos and tack, Timís partner Karen set me up with a shot of artisan gin that had rested (aged) in old brandy barrels. Iíd never tasted gin that wasnít bitter, but this was full, rich and smooooth. Then she mixed me a cordial. "We picked the rosehips up on a snowy hill outside of Pinedale," said Karen. "And we got the raspberries from Riverton." In fact, all the flavors and all the ingredients are natural and gluten free. To my way of thinking, it was a nice refreshing iced drink one could enjoy outside on a warm day.
I didnít want to taste the vodka. I donít like vodka, but itís my job so I had to do it. Oh my goshÖI now love vodka. I didnít know there was such a thing as sipping vodka. It was delightful. I forgot to buy a bottle.
I had another shot of something with jalapeno and bacon in it. Real jalapeno and bacon. Iím three shots in now folksÖso forgive me if I canít read my notes real good. But I think they let a slab of bacon soak in it for a while. Itís great! When I threw the shot back, my eyes fell on a copper still up near the ceiling. Turns out it is a still from a brothel over in Wallace, Idaho. Tim calls himself a character and he sure has a never-ending stream of entertaining historical stories.
Tim and I seemed to be getting along, so I used my most persuasive voice and leaned in conspiratorially and asked him if I could get a look at a whiskey barrel out in the distillery. He wanted me to understand I was the only person or reporter he'd allowed in the distillery, I had to promise only to take photos of what he said I could take photos of. No problem.
You guys! He knocked the bung out of an oak barrel and lowered a Spirit Thief (long tube) into it, pulled it out and drizzled a tiny amount into a test tube and handed it to me. It comes out of the barrel in July, folks. And I suggest getting on the waiting list right now. Best whiskey Iíve ever had. The closest thing I can compare it to is Jameson. A glorious wave of artistry just rolls thru your mouth and you donít want it to stop rolling. Price is going to be around $40.
I thought we were done but Tim went into a corner and came back with a clean Spirit Thief and another test tube and knocked the bung out of a barrel of Rum. I donít like rum, certainly donít want to sip it, but I love it now. I donít have the vocabulary to describe it. It seems more like liquor that one might drink only on the most special of occasions. It is full, round, sophisticated and the world just seems a better place as soon as you take the first sip. Price is going to be around $100. I'm saving up.
My impression is, if you appreciate masterful artistry and tradition that hearkens back to the 1920ís and earlier, you will love the offerings of Cowboy Country Distilling, and the great company of Tim and Karen.
Terry Allen: email@example.com
Editorís Note: Cowboy Country Distilling had their Tasting Room debut on Valentineís Day, Wednesday, February 14th, 2018. They will have their Grand Opening during Rendezvous Days in July. Bottles from the first batch are available for purchase or pre-order to make sure you get a bottle or case from the first batch. All bottles are numbered and you can get Master Distiller Tim Trites to sign your bottle. Cowboy Country Distilling is located at 1 Cobblestone Drive, across from the Pinedale airport, phone: 307-367-2331. Their website is expected to be up soon.