Recently I attended the American Distilling Institute hands-on distilling class held at Breckenridge Distilling in Colorado.  Master Distiller Jordan Via headed up the event and led us thru mashing all the way to bottling.  He had also lined up several speakers to break up the agenda (myself included, malt presentation of course!) but truly focused on running the 500-gallon Vendome still and barrel aging.  You can read about heads and tails cuts all day long but until you actually smell and taste what’s coming off the still it doesn’t quite sink in.  We were also able to pull samples of 3-year-old whiskey from a dozen barrels in order to determine which ten barrels we were going to blend for the final bottled product.  ADI head honcho Bill Owens was also in attendance and his enthusiasm for distilling is quite infectious!  Thanks for a great event Bill!!!

Bill Owens napping on his “Briess bed” at 9,700 feet above sea level.
Barrel samples before lunch, not recommended for the faint of heart!