Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Private Label Distillery claims largest inventory of aging whiskey in state

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2020 at 8:45 AM

  • Courtesy Private Label Distillery
Private Label Distillery quietly opened in early June at 1405 Selix Grove out east of town. The business, launched in 2013 originally, moved down from Denver. Proprietor Paul Dunning cites cheaper costs here all around, plus a personal desire to live somewhere more “relaxed and peaceful” than Denver’s busy Tech Center.

  • Courtesy Private Label Distillery
PLD’s claim to fame is the largest inventory of whiskey aging in the state, he says, citing more than 2,000 barrels now warehoused here. The location also features a tasting room, a second-floor sports lounge, and third-floor gaming area with a peak view.

Food trucks service it for now though Dunning says he’d like to add his own food truck later. While the majority of barrels are aging for private clients (anything from PR/marketing firms to businesses wanting to have a few hundred bottles made for employee holiday gifts, for example) PLD also serves cocktails and whiskey pours from around half a dozen house whiskies at a given time, including bourbons and ryes and single malts.

Dunning, 40, who prototyped and designed liquor bottles in Hong Kong for 15 years, says he set this up to add the liquid component to be a complete solution for clients.
  • Courtesy Private Label Distillery
 He has a small still on site and can distill, but he mostly buys unaged spirit (white dog) via national distributor MGP, and creates his own blends that age typically 30 to 48 months in 30 gallon barrels.

To achieve thousands of different variants he’ll adjust volumes of mixes that are corn, rye and/or barley based, as well as utilize different barrel-char levels in aging. Most places use exclusively a level three char, he says, but a level two might add coconut and fruit flavors, while a level five typically gifts espresso and chocolate notes: “I can get much deeper flavor profiles and blend for more complexity.”

So, think of PLD as a blending and bottling operation with a tasting room and event spaces, he says. "There's nothing like it in Colorado."

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