Two Guns Distillery: Whiskey Flows Downhill . . Again!
By Kathy Bedell
While it’s been a while since a distillery has been operating in Leadville, Two Guns is a solid example of how to do it right.
“This side of the bar, where you’re sitting, is for Leadville,” explains Ben Dallas, owner of Leadville’s new Two Guns Distillery. “But this side,” he says pointing to where the whiskey still sits behind the bar, “this is going to go all over the world!”
And so it is!
While the hub-bub of a new establishment on Leadville’s historic Harrison Avenue crescendos with the Grand Opening of Two Guns Distillery this Memorial Day Weekend, the real core of the new venture will be consumption beyond the boundaries of Lake County, Colo.
“We suspect that distribution is going to be far and wide on both of them,” stated Dallas in a recent interview with Leadville Today. “Because long before the public ever got a taste, we were able to take it to distributors and they were blown away with our packaging, our marketing, our story, and most important of all, our flavor.”
When it comes to flavor, Dallas describes his whiskey as “table ready” and “fashionable,” the kind of hooch you can sit down and enjoy on the rocks.
“We’ve had so many people come in and taste it that may be regular Canadian whiskey drinkers, known for its smoothness, but light in flavor. And then we’ve had bourbon drinkers who are all about heavy flavor, but they sacrifice their smoothness,” explains Dallas. Two Guns seems to be a happy showdown between the two sets of sippers.
So, how does Dallas describe his product? As a “crazy old wild west whiskey.”
No doubt, the taste is unique, fermented from 100% Colorado grain. But even Ben admits, it’s like comparing apples to oranges when you’re going up against a 10-year-old scotch. “But it is a true whiskey,” he adds, something that might just be missing in your bar lineup.
By no means is Two Guns Distillery another bar, another saloon on the Lead Vegas strip.
“The purpose here – the reason why I bought this space on the corner of 4th & Harrison,” explains Dallas, “was that it was develop-able space where we could build a porch, and people would come and enjoy the experience of what we’re trying to do.”
So don’t expect a micro-brew or PBR on tap when you step into Two Guns. Instead you can choose from a small array of unique cocktails – like a Singapore Sling or Moonshine Mojito – made with “super clean, top shelf, locally made liquor.” They have a unique mix, ranging in price from $7 up; and if you fall in love with a drink, they’ll send you home with a recipe card!
“The response has been huge,” says Dallas, his eyes on fire, as if he’s been sampling the latest batch. “So far, it’s been awesome!”
Guess all things do flow downhill from Leadville. Even the whiskey!
Two Guns Distillery is located on the corner of 4th Street and Harrison Avenue in downtown Leadville. They will be open this summer open daily from 1 – 10 p.m. weeknights and till 11 p.m. weekend nights. They will sell bottles at the distillery this summer and plan to start distribution with the liquor stores in the fall.
Meet The Dallases
While the Two Guns Wild West Whiskey may only be 5 weeks old, the Dallases have been in Leadville a lot longer than that. This will be the Dallas’ 4th summer in Leadville.
Sarah and Benjamin Aaron (BA) Dallas are Colorado natives. Ben went to Cedaredge High School and is an accomplished professional artist. His bigger than life gunslinger artwork is on display in the distillery.
Sarah grew up in Paonia, Colo.,; but the Leadville similarity showed up quickly.
“Leadville is a lot like Paonia,” explains Sarah on their decision to move the family of six to Leadville. “You have that old mining heritage (it was coal in Paonia), and an influx of young, hip people who want to live on the mountain and have that mountain experience. I wanted to raise my family in a similar setting as where I grew up.”
Continuing her education was also important: earlier this month Sarah received her Associate of Arts Degree in Business (Congrats!) from Colorado Mountain College. And she was the Phi Theta Kappa president of the Leadville campus. Another strong Leadville woman!
Sarah and Ben have four children: 12-year-old Emma; Abram, 10 yrs (who notably won the West Park Mural Contest), then there’s First Grader Mahala, and baby June Bella who is four years old.
Congratulations and Best of Luck in “Ur Whisky Makin!”