After five days in Lander, Wyoming I headed northwest toward Stanley, Idaho where I plan to stay approximately ten days. Along the way, I stopped at a dear friend’s home in Jackson. It was so much fun to see Chas, who I’ve known for over 40 years and his sweet wife Ellen. I can’t believe I hadn’t seen them since their wedding, which means I had never met their cute boys Charlie and Sawyer!
It was so fun catching up over a dinner of antelope (courtesy of Chas’s bow hunting), salad, and pasta. I hated to not even stay 24 hours, especially with the natural beauty surrounding Jackson, but I plan on returning when is not the height of tourist season.
Before I left, however, I had Chas give me a tour of his distillery, Jackson Hole Still Works. He and his best friend and partner Travis founded Jackson Hole Still Works i14. It is the only distillery in Jackson Hole.
Still Works Vodka
The distillery currently produces hand crafted vodka, gin, and double cask gin with whiskey on the way. Still Works Vodka was naturally their first product as from grain to glass it takes the least amount of time to produce, approximately three weeks.
As a grain to glass operation, Jackson Hole Still Works receives all their grain from local farmers and with Wyoming mountain water mills, cooks, ferments, distills and bottles the final product all under one roof. No part of the process is sourced out. Consequently, Chas and Travis have total control over the process resulting fine tasting spirits.
Aside from the crisp and velvety flavor, what I love about the Still Works Vodka is the bottle features a label by a local artist, which changes annually. Each year Jackson Hole Still Works holds a Spirit of Wyoming artist competition. Artists submit their pieces, and after eight are short-listed, the voting begins.
Not only is this a great way to get the community involved, 100% of the proceeds from the contest, voting party, and raffle of the original artwork benefit the Wyoming Arts Council.
Great Grey and Absaroka Double Cask 49 Gins
While I am personally not a gin drinker, Jackson Hole Still Works’ gins are highly sought after, especially their double cask Absaroka which is aged 13 months in used American whiskey barrels, followed by an additional four months in new American oak casks. With only 600 cases produced, this golden spirit is extremely limited.
Their Great Grey gin takes a little over a month to produce and also features a local artist’s label, though it does not change annually. I’m told its botanical blend provides a slight twist to the typical London Dry Style.
Bottled in Bond Wheat Whiskey
Because Chas and Travis want to their whiskey to garner the bottled-in-bond label, they have yet to release this spirit. In order to be able to carry such a distinction, the liquor must be the product of one distillation season by one distiller at one distillery. It must have been at least four years and bottled at 100 proof. They are just about ready to release a four-year wheat whiskey, so keep an eye out.
Tastings, Tours and Sloshies
If you like spirits, I highly recommend stopping by Jackson Hole Distillery for a tasting and tour or for a sloshie.
The tasting room is open from 10am-6pm daily, and the sloshies are Jackson Hole classic. The unique flavors like Honey Hound, Blackberry Cobbler, and the Drunk Uncle rotate weekly. You may order these icy beverages at a walk-up window!
Tours of Jackson Hole Still Works are offered at 2pm and 4pm seven days a week. The hour-long tour costs $15, but if you buy a certain dollar amount of spirits and merchandise, it is applied to the sale.
Friends for Life
On top of all that, if you stop by the distillery, and Chas is there, you will have a lifelong friend. Chas and his family are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Chas, friendly, smart, and creative, has never met a stranger and has a knack for storytelling.
I always say, I wish he wrote my blog posts because they would be a lot more fun! He is so well spoken and descriptive in his word choice. And if you want a chemistry lesson on how to make alcohol, he can tell you all about starches, sugars, yeast, enzymes and whatever else is necessary in the process.
As my regular followers know, I rarely ever do a company plug on my blog. In fact, I have turned down many opportunities to be an influencer, as I prefer to write about things in which I believe and like. You can’t go wrong with visiting Jackson Hole Still Works, which also operates as a Harvest Host. So if you are in a camper and need a place to stay for night, look them up! ETB