Montanya Distillers toasts the ski season and holidays with a flurry of new happenings, rum products and recipes.
As Crested Butte transforms into ski-town mode for the winter, local rum producer Montanya Distillers is toasting the season with an abundance of new happenings and as the “official rum of Crested Butte Mountain Resort.” It’s also the perfect time to announce new holiday gifts and winter rum cocktails such as the Hottanya, Montanya Wassail and Egg Noggin’, with recipes for these winter favorites and many others available at www.montanyarum.com/recipes.
Birds-Eye View of Rum Distilling
Montanya Distillers has always been dedicated to giving customers the opportunity to get up close up and personal with its distillers, and to witness the unique process of making Montanya Oro and Platino rums. A recent expansion in Crested Butte has allowed them a new and better way to achieve this goal. When the company moved to a new building downtown a year ago, they focused first on expanding distilling in its larger facility 2 miles from downtown, in nearby Riverland Business Park. This fall, the company also installed two copper stills and four fermentation tanks in the downtown Tasting Room location to expand production and invite the public in for a more complete insider’s look at the distilling process.
“We wanted to reestablish the connection we’ve had between the distilling process and our customers in our new building. People care about authenticity, they like to see where spirits are made, and they want to know that our rum is truly made by hand and from scratch here in Crested Butte. This recent expansion has given them that connection,” says President and Co-Owner Karen Hoskin.
The engineering behind adding the distilling operation downtown required careful attention. “We went through a lengthy design process with lots of expert help,” Hoskin confirms. “It is quite unusual to be able to sip a cocktail while you watch spirits being handmade in front of you. We overcame a number of permitting hurdles to keep the public inside our distillery, rather than outside peeking in. It worked!” Montanya rums are now shipped to 39 U.S. states and a growing number of countries around the world. The rums have been awarded 18 Gold and Silver Medals and two “Best in Class” designations in international competitions.
Expansion of Culinary Program
Montanya Distillers has long been known for its creative and fresh cocktail program, but the expansion in Crested Butte has allowed Hoskin and Tasting Room General Manager Robin Buza to expand Montanya’s culinary program. The new program focuses on appetizers and small plates with ingredients sourced from Colorado. such as applewood smoked goat cheese from Haystack Mountain, handmade pastas from Pappardelle, honey from Honeyville, and ice cream handmade in Crested Butte by Third Bowl Ice Cream.
Cocktail and food specials are crafted from nearby-harvested organic produce such as peaches, apples, cherries, greens, mushrooms and wild harvested herbs. A sampling of this season’s culinary menu includes Seared Scallops with Fresh Mango, Avocado and Montanya Oro Rum Glaze; Sun-Dried Tomato and Parmesan Polenta with Caramelized Onions, Local Microgreens, Mozzarella and Balsamic Reduction; Fried Colorado Ravioli with Fresh Basil, Tomato, Mozzarella; and a Vanilla Parfait with fresh berries drenched in Montanya Rum Crème.
Rum Bitters & Truffles Introduced
Montanya Distillers has introduced a line of house-made bitters and artisan Oro rum truffles made on-sited by Jodi Harper Nute (one of the eleven staff members at Montanya) and available only at its Tasting Room in Crested Butte. The bitters use Montanya rum as their base to infuse dramatic flavors such as pineapple habanero, winter peach, coffee, fig, grapefruit, tiki and Thai. The dark chocolate ganache used for the truffles is made with Montanya Oro rum and rolled in hazelnut, almond, coconut, Dutch chocolate or red chili. The truffles are available singly, in gift boxes and are featured on the dessert menu.
Cocktail fans can more easily make their favorite cocktail recipes at home or while traveling with popular ingredients such as ginger beer and house-made Maharaja Syrup and Honey Lavender Syrup now available for purchase in the Tasting Room.
“Rum is so incredibly versatile in cocktails and food. We have a not-so-secret agenda to keep tempting our customers endlessly with new and delicious ways to interpret and reinterpret rum, to keep pushing cocktail and culinary boundaries with rum. It’s an awful lot of fun,” says Hoskin.
Holiday Gift Giving Made Easy
Just in time for the holidays, Montanya announces the newest way to give its rums as gifts through the online spirits gift giving company www.1-877-Spirits. Oro and Platino rums are available by the bottle, and prices include gift delivery. The 877Spirits website also features a gift basket called “The Colorado Cocktail Kit,” which includes a bottle of Montanya Oro dark rum, a wood muddler, cocktail cherries, simple syrup and bitters traveler’s set presented in a classy wooden chest. Visit www.1-877-spirits.com/category/montanya-rum/MR95. Prices listed on the site include gift packaging and shipping or delivery nationwide.
“We have had so many requests from customers to ship our rum and to offer holiday gift baskets. We are incredibly excited to partner with 877Spirits because they are experts at getting spirits gifts to customers. Their expertise lets us stay focused where we should be, on making great rum,” says Hoskin.
The Montanya Story
In 2008, Karen and her husband Brice Hoskin established Montanya Distillers in Silverton, Colorado, where a Montanya Distillers Tasting Room continues to operate. As the distillery expanded in 2011, the Hoskins moved production to Crested Butte and opened a Tasting Room downtown. At its current location at 212 Elk Ave., Montanya offers an extensive artisan cocktail and small plates menu, outdoor seating on front and back patios in the warmer seasons, and live music on a regular basis. The Tasting Room is available for some private events, and Montanya also offers rum cocktail catering and guest bartending for off-site events.
The American Distilling Institute named Montanya Distillers, one of the few female-owned and operated distilleries in the United States, 2013 Craft Distiller of the Year. Montanya will release a three-year aged rum to the Colorado market in June 2015.
For additional information and rum cocktail recipes, visit www.montanyarum.com.