The Depot releases first bourbon at Kentucky Derby party

The Depot Bourbon

The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery’s first bourbon will release May 2, 2015. Photo by Mike Higdon

The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery adds another bourbon to Nevada’s growing craft spirits list

This story is sponsored and paid for by The Depot. Drinkable Reno’s sponsored content follows the same journalism standards as all other content. See our About page for more information about sponsored stories.

The Depot’s craft brewer-distiller Brandon Wright sampled bourbon from 10 barrels to decide what to blend for the first bottles of Biggest Little Bourbon. He ultimately decided to only combine three, or 144 bottles, for the first batch only available at the craft brewery distillery restaurant.

And what better time to release the first bottles than at the all-day Ring in Spring Kentucky Derby Party, starting at noon, May 2. The Depot partnered with The Nest Vintage Urban Boutique to launch the Biggest Little Bourbon with style. Find the perfect Derby outfit at The Nest, then wear it to The Depot to receive five free raffle tickets. Mention this story from Drinkable Reno and receive another free raffle ticket. Spend the day watching the race, drinking bottomless mimosas or Ranch Hand American Ale and pick up a bottle of bourbon (details below).

“It’s amazing that it’s the same distillate in each barrel,” said Chris Shanks, co-owner of The Depot. “You get a variety of different flavors from barrel to barrel even though the barrels themselves are the same.”

The flavors vary dramatically from each small barrel despite them all sitting near each other in the humidified third floor of The Depot. Chris said the bourbon is full of big caramel flavors, biscuity notes and cinnamon.

“It’s a wheated bourbon, which makes it sweeter than a rye bourbon and surprisingly smooth for a three-and-a-half-month aged spirit,” he said. Three to six months in a small barrel is equivalent to two to four years in a full-sized barrels because the bourbon touches more of the wood. #Science

Nevada’s dry environment also causes bourbon to mature faster than in Kentucky or Tennessee because the temperature swings cause the wood to open up and suck in bourbon then push it out at night when it’s colder. This constant movement, exposes more bourbon to the oak barrels and darkens the color faster.

“We’re working with 50% humidity in the room instead of the 70% humidity in Kentucky,” Chris said.

The dry atmosphere also increases the alcohol of the bourbon because water evaporates, rather than adding water and vaporizing alcohol. Bourbon aged in Kentucky does the opposite, giving way to the “angel’s share” and lowering the alcohol.

The first three barrels will fill about 144 limited release bottles only available at The Depot. The other seven barrels will rest a few more weeks before filling another 24 cases. For now, the bourbon can only be found at The Depot.

Ring in Spring Kentucky Derby Party

The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery and The Nest Vintage Urban Boutique will host the first Ring in Spring Kentucky Derby Party starting at noon, May 2. The Kentucky Derby starts at 3:40 p.m. on the first-floor bar TVs. The all-day event includes an array of activities:

  • The Depot’s first ever release of Biggest Little Bourbon
  • Grand opening of The Depot’s outdoor patio with large outdoor tables and games
  • Nest Trunk Show Photo Booth to show off your best Derby Day get-up
  • All-you-can-drink Mimosas and Ranch Hand American Ale for $20
  • Drink Specials including $5 Silver Corn Mint Juleps
  • Raffle items including first edition Biggest Little Bourbon, Silver Corn Whiskey, hats, sweatshirts, ceramic growlers
  • Dress up in traditional Derby attire and receive 5 raffle tickets for free
  • Mention you read about this on Drinkable Reno and receive another raffle ticket for free

The Nest can help create the best Derby outfit! Stop by The Nest and receive 20% off all of your Derby Day clothing.

The following two tabs change content below.

Mike Higdon

Editor & Publisher at Drinkable Reno
Mike Higdon is a journalist passionate about beer and cocktails. He started the site because no one else covered Reno's growing craft scene at the level of detail required to stay in the know about all things drinkable in Reno.