Wyoming Whiskey Crowns Rocky Mountain Bartender Shootout Champion

Wyoming Whiskey has crowned Jacob Johnson of Aspen’s Element 47 bar within The Little Nell hotel as the 2017 Ski Town Showdown Champion. His signature cocktail, coined “The Sun Also Rises”, stole the hearts and taste buds of a discerning panel of judges. 

Wyoming Whiskey Crowns Rocky Mountain Bartender Shootout Champion
2017 Bartender Shootout Champion, Jacob Johnson, prepares his cocktail for the judges (credit: Rich Goodwin)

After two regional competitions between over two dozen bartenders in Aspen, CO and Jackson, WY late this fall, Wyoming Whiskey brought five finalists from each location up to a festive final competition held at the Pink Garter Theater in Jackson, WY on Dec. 1.

The focus of the event was to create the best Wyoming Whiskey cocktail the West has ever seen. Wyoming Whiskey Ambassador and world-renowned cocktail guru, David Kaplan of Death & Co. judged both the regional and final competitions. Reigning WW Shootout Champion, Chad Taylor, and Arbor Snowboard athlete, Mark Carter, judged the Finals alongside Kaplan.

Wyoming Whiskey Crowns Rocky Mountain Bartender Shootout Champion
Bartender Shootout finalists pose for a photo with the judges and emcees (Credit: Rich Goodwin)

“Here’s to all of our participating bartenders who had the guts to be judged in a rowdy venue.  They showed a greater passion for this competition than we ever expected.” said David DeFazio, COO of Wyoming Whiskey. “And a round of applause for Jacob who started a rivalry that will be revisited for years to come.  He crushed it.”

Wyoming Whiskey Crowns Rocky Mountain Bartender Shootout Champion
Emcee Jeff Moran (left) toasts with Wyoming Whiskey Co-Founder David DeFazio (Credit: Rich Goodwin)

Johnson’s creation secured him the $2,500 cash purse, a pair of Blizzard skis and Tecnica ski boots, $500 for the charity of his choice, and in true Wyoming fashion, the coveted Ski Town Showdown Champion’s belt buckle.

1st Place —Jacob Johnson, Element 47 at The Little Nell in Aspen, CO


“The Sun Also Rises”

  •  2 oz Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon

  • .5 oz Sierra Maestro Oloroso Sherry (15 Year)

  •  1 Barspoon Bols Crème de Cacao White

  •  1 Barspoon Pernod Absinthe Supérieure

  •  Pinch of Salt

  •  Rosemary Ice Ball


2nd Place— Amber Pollock, Backwards Distilling in Casper, WY

“No Unnecessary Travel”

  •   1.5 oz Wyoming Whiskey Outryder Straight American Whiskey

  •    .75 oz Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port

  •    .5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

  •    .5 oz Almond Orgeat

  •   2 Barspoon Allspice Dram

3rd Place—Christina Molofsky,  Piste Mountain Bistro at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

“Newton’s Dilemma”

  •   2 oz Wyoming Whiskey Outryder Straight American Whiskey

  •   1 oz Granny Smith Apple Juice

  •   .5 oz Genepy des Alpes

  •   Garnish: Small Pine Branch

Participants walked away with gear from sponsors such as Blizzard Skis, Tecnica, NewWest Knifeworks, Arbor Snowboards, Ibex, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Mountain Khakis.

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About Wyoming Whiskey
Based in Kirby, Wyoming, Wyoming Whiskey has a simple goal: to create America’s next great bourbon. The company and product is a collaboration between its partners and 97,818 square miles of Wyoming. The Mead family first came to Wyoming as ranchers in 1890 and the state defines them, and their whiskey.  They use the finest corn, wheat, barley, and water from the Big Horn Basin and promote Wyoming’s natural and human resources.  Every drop of this bourbon is 100% Wyoming. To learn more, visit http://www.wyomingwhiskey.com.