Former New York fashion and beauty photographer, Michael Myers, has been turning heads in the spirits world since opening Distillery 291 eleven years ago. 

After witnessing the 9/11 attacks while standing on a street corner with his family, Myers decided he wanted a change and directed his life in a new direction. He moved his family to Colorado but continued to fly back and forth for his photography business until he came across an article about the creator of Henricks Gin and Sailor Jerry and was inspired to start his own distillery in Colorado Springs. Myers’ very first still was created from the very copper plates he previously used for his photography business and Distillery 291, named after famed photographer Alfred Stieglitz’s New York gallery, was born.

Since its founding in 2011, Distillery 291 has been producing some of Colorado’s best whiskeys. The whiskeys produced here have racked up numerous awards from competitions around the world, including the title of Craft Producer of the Year 2022 in the Icons of Whisky America competition hosted by Whisky Magazine. Their success is thanks to Myer’s genuine approach to creating whiskey with Colorado as the driving force. Distillery 291 whiskeys are crafted to evoke the free spirit of the wild west.

291 Colorado Rye Whiskey Barrel Proof Single Barrel

Crafting Whiskey at Distillery 291

When it comes to producing Distillery 291’s distinctive whiskeys, Myers aims to find the perfect balance between modern techniques and time-tested traditions. The base of all Distillery 291 whiskeys consists of locally grown Colorado grains and crisp, mountain fresh water from Pikes Peak reservoirs. The mash then follows the classic open-air fermentation method before it is triple distilled in locally made pot stills. The whiskeys are then aged in virgin American white oak barrels before finishing on toasted Colorado aspen staves. Finally, Distillery 291’s whiskeys are kept at a high proof with only a slight cutting with Rocky Mountain water. From grain to bottle, each step of the process is done by hand, including the corking, caging, and labeling.

In addition to its meticulous production steps, Distillery 291 has its own proprietary process for an added Colorado twist on its whiskeys. A small fraction of the last stillage is saved and incorporated into the new batch through the mash, a method called the El Paso County Process.

291 Colorado Bourbon Whiskey Small Batch

291 Colorado Rye Whiskey Barrel Proof Single Barrel

This rugged and rebellious whiskey has a bold, yet refined personality that can be enjoyed at full-strength neat or slightly diluted with ice. It has been highly praised by the whiskey world, including being named World’s Best Rye 2018 by the World Whiskies Awards, a Liquid Gold award from Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible, and a Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Fans of this whiskey love its notes of salted caramel, maple syrup, spiced oak, aspen wood, baking spices, and dried fruits.

291 Colorado Bourbon Whiskey Small Batch

This highly-acclaimed whiskey is a rich mahogany color and features flavors of vanilla, cherry, spices, dark chocolate, pears, and apples with a slightly smoky finish. This whiskey won Distillery 291 American Whiskey Master award in 2019, as well as its own Double Gold from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

291 Fresh Whiskey

291 Fresh Colorado Whiskey

This unaged whiskey is an uncommon find and was crafted especially for mixologists creating new twists on traditional cocktails. It can be used to replace vodka, rum, and tequila in a number of different drinks, thanks to its distinct, yet versatile flavors of citrus peel, sweet corn, caramel, baking spices, and honey. The Fresh Colorado Whiskey is unaged and is filtered through charred aspen to make it extra smooth and remove any impurities, a process called charcoal mellowing and more often seen done with Tennessee whiskeys. Critics have taken notice of this unaged whiskey as well, with the World Whiskies Awards titling it Best American New Make & Young Spirit in 2021 and 2022.



The 291 Whiskarita

Fun Fact: Myers created his own cocktail, the Whiskarita, back before he launched Distillery 291 and it is only the fifth cocktail to receive a trademark, coming in after other big hitters like the Dark ‘N Stormy and Sazerac. Here’s an easy recipe from Distillery 291 for Whiskaritas using Fresh Colorado Whiskey

  • 1 ½ oz. Fresh Colorado Whiskey
  • ¾ oz. Triple Sec
  • 1 ¼ oz. Lime Juice
  • ¾ oz. Simple Syrup
  • Fresh Cracked Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (Garnish)
  • Lime Wedge (Garnish)

Shake all the ingredients, besides those for garnishes, in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour over ice into a glass rimmed with the pink Himalayan sea salt and add the lime wedge. Simple and delicious!

If you want to taste the wild and free spirit of Colorado transformed into the premium whiskeys crafted by Distillery 291, contact your Vintegrity representative or send a message online today!