Updated August 30, 2017
By April Manning
Tincup Whiskey is owned by Proximo, also owners of Bushmills and Jose Cuervo, and was created in Colorado by Jess Graber, also founder of Stranahan’s, Colorado’s first legal whiskey distillery since the 19th Century. The name is a respectful nod to the gold miners who went out to Colorado seeking their fortunes, since they were among the first whiskey drinkers of Colorado and they drank that whiskey from tin cups. There is also a town in Colorado named Tincup that has a rich mining history Literally crowning it all is the bottle’s cap, a tin cup that can be used to pay tribute to Colorado’s deep gold mining past.
The whiskey is sourced out of Lawrenceburg, Indiana from Midwest Grain Products (MGP), as is the case with so many sourced and bottled whiskeys pursuing an affordable route to getting a product on the market, taking advantage of MGP’s scale of distillation and aging. Tincup’s Colorado contribution to the whiskey is to cut with Rocky Mountain water to cut it before bottling in Denver. The limestone of the Colorado mountain range makes the water rich with minerals that reputedly give the whiskey crispness and clarity, a note one sees often from Colorado whiskey-makers.
Tincup is an 84 proof (42% abv) whiskey distilled from a blend of corn, malt barley and a high rye mash bill. This higher rye content gives what Graber calls his take on classic American Whiskey: a spicy, robust flavor that is evened out with the smooth foundation of a bourbon.
This whiskey is golden in color that is reminiscent of the treasure the miners seek. The initial smell of Tincup is extremely stout and the liquor smell may be off-putting to some. However, if the bottle is allowed to breathe it releases the delightful sweet scents of vanilla and brown sugar balanced with the zesty pepper aromas. The flavor is mellow with more earthy undertones of the charred oak rather than the sweetness normally associated with bourbon. The finish is enjoyably mild making it a good sipping whiskey for those lighter drinkers or a good starter whiskey for those just starting out on their whiskey journey.
I actually recommend using the tin cup cap, as it does change the flavor slightly and gives you the sense of enjoying your spirits at an old western saloon with beams of light sneaking through the holes in the wall after a long, rough day mining.
A bottle of Tincup goes for $29.99.
Editor’s Note: Since this article was published, it was revealed that this product has a bit of Stranahan’s blended in. A reader pointed out the new information and so we make this correction.