I apologize to my readers for the recent lull in my posting schedule. I spent ten days down in Austin then another ten recovering – in not much of a mood for liquor. The blog may have also experienced some down-time lately, hopefully that should be fixed now. This week, however, I have something a little different: a “Colorado whiskey” – namely Stranahan’s.
Anyone who has read this blog before might have noticed that I like to cheer on whiskies that originate from outside the Kentucky/Tenessee region. I like to imagine that the further one gets from the heart of bourbon production, the more willing one is to experiment with production. While this is blatantly not true – with the wonderful experimentation going on in Kentucky and some traditional products coming from elsewhere – it’s at least an interesting draw into new ground for me.
Stranahan’s is made like a bourbon, except with an all-barley mash instead of a corn-centric one, and aged a “minimum” of two years. Let’s see how it pans out.
– 94 proof
– Made by Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey
The large metallic silver top defines this bottle’s appearance. It may look like a shot glass and/or serving suggestion, but at this price point, I hope that’s not the case. Otherwise the steeply angled labeling is simple, with an emphasis on hand-marking. The background is faux aged and the descriptive paragraph very short. One appealing aspect is the “Comments” section of the label where “listening to the Pogues” is written in, a charming addition if it’s genuine. These guys might just be small enough for that to be real.
To the nose Stranahan’s comes across with hot asphalt, watermelon, honey, and salty ocean wind. The latter two Scotch-like notes are probably a result of their common use of barley. The scent is smooth and without any significant alchohol character to it.
Tasting it again draws likeness to Scotch. It opens with a big, bright lemony sensation that falls back into a dandelion bitterness that lingers for a bit before fading into a long, dry, warm finish that never really releases that first lemon aspect.
I am impressed with Stranahan’s. If you like your sweet bourbons you won’t be too pleased here since the barley doesn’t have that kind of sugary character, but it is different from any other American whiskey I’ve had lately – in a good way.
2 thoughts on “Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey”
Well…Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey (SCW) is not actually made like a bourbon, although there are some shared aspects. For example, both SCW and bourbon are matured in 100% American white oak barrels, with a #4 heavy char. Differences would be that SCW is distilled in a one-of-a-kind pot-column still that combines the technologies of Scotch/certain Irish sprirt production (pot stills) and all other types of spirit production (column stills), including bourbon. SCW also uses a unique maturation process–a temperature and humidity controlled environment–which dramatically influences the spirit’s interaction with the wood.
I find SCW to be a flawless balance of spicy, sweet, complex, and smooth. I think it’s worth double what they charge, and would differ with the author that bourbon drinkers are likely to highly appreciate this delicious stuff. Scotch drinkers, too, as far as that goes. Give a shot folks–I’m a serous whiskey enthusiast, and this is definitely my all-time fave.
Since moving to Colorado several years ago, I’ve discovered many awesome things here. Stranahan’s is definitely one of them. If you’re ever in Denver, be sure to stop in their distillery, They have a good pub there, too.