Monday, May 15, 2017

Rocky Mountain Distillery Prides Itself on Sustainability

Credit: Courtesy Photo
Uniqueness is certainly something I savor, provided it's something interesting and pushes the envelop in a positive direction. One craft distillery I recently encountered that certainly fits the description is located in Carbondale in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, near Glenwood and Aspen. They've created a modern distillery that's put an emphasis on water and energy conservation with state-of-the art technology that promotes environmental sustainablity - all the while maintianing product excellence.

Marble Distilling Co. has invested in the future of our planet by designing and building the first of its kind Water Energy Thermal System (WETS) to capture and reuse the water and heat generated in the distilling process.

A typical distillery requires millions of gallons of water to cool processes and convert hot vapor off the still into liquid (spirits), with the hot water then discharged into the sewer. The WETS captures hot water from processes/stills and stores it in a super insulated 5000 gallon ‘hot’ tank for reuse. Utilizing multiple pumps and exchangers, the energy is reused to heat processes, domestic hot water and to provide heat to our building, which then leaves cold water – pumped to a super insulated 5000 gallon ‘cold’ tank. The cold water is reused for the condensing process, cooling mash and providing cool air to the building eliminating the need for a typical energy inefficient air conditioning system. The heat/cold cycle is everlasting with no need to ever discharge water to the sewer.

This innovative system used at Marble Distilling Co. saves the planet more than 4 million gallons of water annually and captures 1.8 Billion BTUs of energy - enough to power 20 homes. Imagine if all distilleries, breweries and vineyards employed this cutting edge technology?

The distillery started with two mountain families related by marriage - one from the heart of the Colorado Rockies and one from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. These in-laws bonded together over a combined passion for crafting spirits the old fashioned way.  With sheer determination and perseverance, they built an artisan distillery where water and energy conservation for environmental sustainability is a daily practice.

Carbondale may be its location, but its roots are just up the road in Marble, Colorado. With a population of 100, Marble is but a ghostly glimpse of its heyday in the early 20th century; when it was a bustling town of several thousand playing a pivotal role in the architectural history of America. Skillful workers from around the world quarried, hauled and carved massive blocks of marble for the Lincoln Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and other inspiring monuments and buildings that dot the national landscape. Today the Yule Marble Quarry yields the highest quality marble of metamorphosed limestone in the world, making it the perfect, all natural filtration system for Marble Spirits.

The water in Marble spills from the headwaters of the Crystal River.  Pristine and, naturally, marble filtered, this water was the inspiration for its Marble spirits. Marble Distilling Co. is a true Colorado craft distillery where handcrafted spirits are poured at The Marble Bar. Its artisan spirits are copper-pot distilled using only American-made equipment, Colorado grains and pure Crystal River spring water. Its stills produce handcrafted Marble Vodka from local Colorado grains, Gingercello – a modern adaptation from the lemon Italian classic, and Moonlight EXpresso – a family recipe utilizing local Bonfire Coffee from the other side of Main Street made from Guatamalan coffee beans and Ugandan vanilla beans.

Marble vodka is made with an original blend of all natural Colorado grains. Wheat and malted barley is distilled in an old fashioned copper pot still to ensure purity and clarity. It is the only vodka filtered through crushed Yule marble giving it a soft, creamy nose with a smooth, luxurious finish to create a unique Colorado vodka.

Gingercello is a tribute to springtime and a modern adaptation of the Italian classic. Marble uses fresh cut ginger and the sweetest part of the lemon zest for a refreshing taste. Warm and spicy and coming in at 70 proof, the Gingercello won a Gold medal at the Denver International Spirits Competition (2017).

Marble's Moonlight EXpresso is a modern take on an old world recipe. Inspired by the Italian craftsmen who worked long hours in the Marble quarry, Moonlight EXpresso is a complex dark roasted coffee liqueur that blends locally roasted dark coffee beans and Ugandan vanilla beans with a touch of sweetness. With a creamy finish, Moonlight EXpresso comes in at 52 proof and its suggestions of chocolate make it a great cocktail ingredient. It can calso stand alone or in hor or cold libations.

Still aging in barrels, Marble's whiskey and bourbon is currently being aged in barrels and scheduled for release in mid-2017.

Creative Marble Cocktail Creations

The Dude Credit: Courtesy Photo
The Dude
2 oz. Moonlight EXpresso
A slosh of heavy cream
A shave of dark chocolate
Serve in a rocks glass over ice.

Variations: The Crunchy Dude - substitute almond or soy milk
The Frosty Dude - float a shot over vanilla ice cream with shaved chocolate on top
The Hot Dude - add 1 Tbsp hot cocoa, 1/2 cup hot water, mix and top with whipped cream and shave peppermint bark

Alpine Camo
2 oz. Gingercello
1 hot brewed cup Chamomille Tea
Local Honey and a lemon wedge

Marble-Rita Credit: Courtesy Photo
1.5 oz. Gingercello
1/2 oz. Marble Vodka
2 oz. Stripped Margarita Mix

Dip 1/4 rocks glass  rim in honey
Dip again in wel-ground crystallized ginger
Garnish with fresh mint and jalapeno slice

Marble Mule
2 oz. Marble Vodka
1 oz. Gingercello
1/2 lime, squeezed
Shake and strain. Garnish with lime slice

Black Russian Cake
Black Russian Cake

1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1 package instant chocolate pudding (6 oz)
4 eggs
1/4 cup Moonlight EXpresso
1/2 cup Marble Vodka
3/4 cup water

Glaze Ingredients
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup Moonlight EXpresso

Beat all ingredients together for 4 minutes, Grease & flour bundt pan, Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes and Turn cake on to plate.
Poke holes in cake with fork, Spoon on glaze, Cool completely, Cover & refrigerate or freeze.

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