Northern Colorado may be known for its expansive craft beer scene, but it was only a matter of time before other craft beverages got their moment in the sun. Cider ...
In Fort Collins, it’s not unusual to pick up a tasting flight at Odell on a lazy Thursday afternoon or sample new brews with your Friday-night date at Equinox. A flight, a tap room, and a friendly pourer behind the bar shouldn’t be anything particularly special. But at Feisty Spirits, it’s not local beer you’re trying out – it’s local whiskey.
At Fort Collins’ first – and so far, only – whiskey distillery, hand-crafted spirits are distilled in the back room, with the gorgeous artisan still and the hustle and bustle of the whiskey-making process clearly visible through a large window in the tasting room. Think Gravity 1020, only smaller – a lot smaller.
Feisty Spirits is located in an unassuming strip mall on Lincoln Avenue, roughly in between Fort Collins Brewery and Funkwerks. It can be easy to miss when you’re driving by, so they usually place a sign out by the street when the tasting room is open. Or you can just follow the light – after dark, Feisty Spirits is one of the only places open along this industrialized stretch of Brewer’s Row.
Don’t let the exterior scare you off – inside, the distillery is decked out in warm copper tones, cool grays, and a handful of intimate seating areas just off to the side of the wrap-around bar. The tasting room is similar in size to Funkwerks (minus the patio), so it’s definitely cozy. When it’s full of customers, Feisty is fun, noisy, and energized, with jokes and stories traded fast and furiously around the small room. On slower nights, it’s a mellow place to chat about whiskey and maybe snag a spot on the tour.
Feisty Spirits offers a variety of different bourbons, ryes, and experimental whiskeys. You can jump right in and choose a sampler tray of any of their current spirits or just dip your toes in with a whiskey-based cocktail. A word of warning for those who are used to beer trays – 90-proof whiskey is a heck of a lot stronger than 9% ABV beer. Adjust your samples sizes accordingly.
One of the great things about the Feisty Spirits tasting room is that you have a high chance of getting your whiskey poured by the same person who distilled it. These people really love whiskey and are more than happy to share their knowledge and help you find something you like. Even die-hard whiskey haters should give Feisty a shot, because odds are you’ve never tried a quinoa, millet, or triticale whiskey before.
Feisty’s “Elementals” are un-aged, single-grain whiskeys made from anything and everything but your everyday corn and rye. These whiskeys are wildly different than anything I’ve ever tasted before. Some, like the Triticale Whiskey, were deliciously complex, nutty, and smooth, while others I happily passed off to my drinking partner. We spent hours debating the merits of each grain, nibbling on unsweetened chocolate in between sips to cleanse our palate. It’s a lot of fun to figure out what flavor profiles each person likes best – apparently, in the future, I should definitely stay away from spicy ryes. However, if you ever get a chance to sample the Cinnamon Whiskey, I can’t recommend it enough. I was expecting something along the lines of Fireball, but Feisty’s is more soft and delicately sweet than a red-hot, punch-you-in-the-mouth cinnamon flavor. Yum.
I really appreciate being able to sample so many different kinds of whiskey before dropping $50 on a whole bottle. Good whiskey is well worth the cash, but it’s a lot easier to try out a six-pack of new beer for $12 than to discover that, whoops, I don’t actually like blue corn bourbon at all after you’ve already purchased an entire bottle. At Feisty Spirits, you can nail down exactly which whiskey you like, then buy a bottle straight from the distillery. Good for you, good for them, and good for the local economy. Thanks, whiskey!
Feisty Spirits currently has their tasting room open Thursdays and Fridays, 4-8pm, and Saturdays and Sundays, from noon-8pm. If you just want to buy a bottle, you can do that Monday – Friday, 10am-5pm, plus during any of the normal tasting room hours. So next time you’re making the rounds on your weekend brewery tours, don’t forget to stop in at Feisty and sample something a little different.
Fort Collins is a pretty rad place to live. If you judge by honors and awards from publications around the country, it’s obvious that Fort Collins is basically the bees knees. But we already live here, so that’s no big surprise.
All of the bloggers in The Scoop Blog Network write about the aspects of Fort Collins that they love the most – the history, people, arts, food, outdoors – you know, the stuff that makes our city enjoyable. We create places online for people to learn about what makes Fort Collins “Fort Collins,” and you know what? It’s all of us that make our city what it is.
So, all of us at The Scoop Blog Network are celebrating that! We’re hosting a “Celebrate Fort Collins” giveaway from December 2nd through January 3rd. We’ve partnered up with a spectacular group of people who represent the businesses and resources available in Fort Collins to create one incredible prize pack for ONE lucky network reader.
Here’s How It Works
We’re using this lovely Rafflecopter system to collect your entries. It will show you how much time is left to enter, how many people have submitted entires, and how many entries you’ve earned.
You will get one entry for every blog account you follow, five entries for telling us about your favorite blog, and another five entries for tweeting this contest to your friends on Twitter (you can do this once a day).
The more entries you have, the higher your chances of winning! One super lucky reader will be randomly selected and emailed to pick up THE MOST EPIC FORT COLLINS GIVEAWAY PRIZE PACK EVER. Seriously. Your friends will hate you forever if you win (unless you decide to share it with them – then they’ll love you). Check out the prize list at the bottom of this post, then commence drooling. And tweeting. And sharing.
We love blogging about Fort Collins and we’re excited to celebrate living in this great city with you!
Good luck, high-fives to our awesome readers, and thanks to all of the businesses who support us and made this giveaway possible!
Thank you to all of these businesses for donating to the giveaway and supporting The Scoop Blog Network! If you’d like to donate, it’s not too late. We would be happy to include more items. We’ll keep everyone updated on new items added to the prize list! Just email Kristin atKristin@thescoopblogs.com for details.
Here’s where the swag is from so far:
- Bottle of Feasting Fort Collins 4th Anniversary Wine made by Vintages
- All Star Cleaning Services
- Merele Norman
- Bear Arms
- Matador Mexican Grill
- Butter Cream Cupcakery
- Stella Dot
- Feisty Spirits
- Orchidee Salon and Spa
- Rodizio Grill
- Edge Optics
- House of J
- Next Door Food and Drink
- Local author, Jay Wilson
- Local author, Shawntel Wilson
- Jason Speciner, CFP
- Common Link
- Local author, Lauren Hoff
- Braindrops Play Therapy and Wellness
- Nancy Bond Insurance Services
- Silver Grill
- Music Together
- Caffe Ole
I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving, rife with tryptophan-induced food comas and family fights. Unless you work retail, in which case I wish you vodka and advanced survival techniques.