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Beauty in (and on) a Bottle

Art of the Spirits Distillery: Blending Whiskey + Art

The brush stroke; a seemingly simple nuance that denotes light or shadow. 

But in truth, nuance has never been a simple thing.

Height and depth are both inherent in its presence. It obliges emotion, it is foundational to the scene. It is the semicolon within a sentence wherein, upon being forced to catch your breath, the story becomes compelling. 

Such a diaphanous thing, nuance.

As enigmatic as that something only seen out of the corner of one’s eye. It forces you to become completely aware of your surroundings and inwardly seek the thing that has so cleverly captured the room through inference.  

And without it, the thing is devoid; it becomes simply normal. 

Richard Paul, founder of Art of the Spirits Distillery, is an aesthete. He is a dealer of nuance and has built a business model that delivers beauty in (and on) a bottle.


Art was the foundation of this endeavor for Paul. He had been working with David Uhl ( and Danial James (, artists licensed by Harley Davidson to create unique pieces of art celebrating their products. After traveling with them for a number of years to assist in the sale of these pieces on apparel and other merchandise, Paul decided that he wanted to venture out on his own.

He was looking for an elegant beverage that appealed to the masses to be the vessel for this artwork. Whiskey was that beverage. 


While a spirit like vodka is generally distilled to be neutral, whiskey is classified based on the nuance of taste.

Paul and his team deal directly in cask strength barrel picks. The warehouse is filled with specialty sourced barrels – a curation of some of the best-flavored whiskey out there. Some of these barrels are sold on the spot, some are aged, still others are blended and finished to draw out those individualized flavors and create something truly special.

For example, they are releasing a BouRye, 55 percent bourbon finished in tawny port with toasted Cognac XO staves, blended with 45 percent single barrel rye finished in Foursquare rum casks that clocks in at 114 proof. This particular cigar blend has been tested to hold up to a full-bodied cigar. Each of these differentiations are specific to the nuance of bourbon and add that depth of flavor that make whiskey such a contemplative and elegant spirit.

Art of the Spirits Distillery's patrons vary – some are liquor store owners; others are heads of various clubs, or business owners looking to curate a unique gift for clients or employees. If you see their products in a store, that particular store had to reserve the whole barrel to be able to offer it. 


Lately, Art of the Spirits has been commissioned by several military groups to create commemorative lines. The Tenth Special Forces group out of Fort Carson was the first commemorative line called “The Originals,” followed by the Navy SEALs and Swim with a Mission, which commemorated the “Frogman” label. Recently released commissions include the Air Force and Space Force. The 75th Ranger Regiment and police commissions are set to be released in 2024. 

Not only do these commemorative lines include specifically commissioned artwork paired with an unparalleled whiskey experience, but a portion of the sales goes to helping veterans and their families. Art of the Spirits takes nominations of families in need through their Whiskey for Vets program. With the sale of every barrel, they personally deliver a handshake in combination with meeting a need for that family to express sincere gratitude. 

Bottles may be shipped to 44 states. If you are interested in reserving your own barrel, commissioning a bottle or setting up a tasting at the The Gypsy Room, Art of the Spirits' local Speakeasy-style tasting room, call 719-365-6500 or email

Facebook: @ArtoftheSpiritsDistillery
Instagram: @ArtoftheSpirits