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Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey

Stranahan's Colorado


By Robert Plotkin

Welcome the first micro-distilled whiskey handcrafted in the Rocky Mountains—Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey. In 2004, owner George Stranahan founded the Denver distillery adjacent to his ultra-popular Flying Dog Brewery, which supplied his fledgling operation with the fermented mash he needed to distill into whiskey. The lushly textured, full flavored spirit is most definitely a product of its pristine environment and well illustrates the impact of terroir on a finished whiskey.

Stranahan's is made from malted barley that is grown in the Northern Rockies and carbon filtered spring water. The fermented wash is distilled in a copper still whose design is a hybrid between a traditional copper pot still and a more technologically advanced continuous still. Its configuration is unique to the Stranahan's Distillery. The whiskey is then aged between 2 and 5 years in heavily charred, American white oak barrels handmade in Missouri.

After the whiskey has reached optimum maturity, the master distiller vats together small batches of 10 to 12 barrels, a volume sufficient to fill between 2500-3000 bottles. Each label includes handwritten comments and identifies the batch number and the youngest barrel in the batch. The whiskey is bottled at 47% alcohol by volume (94 proof).

Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey is an impressive achievement, an artisanal spirit with characteristics reminiscent of a fine Highland malt and a small batch bourbon. The deep amber hued whiskey has a velvety, medium-weight body and a generous bouquet of malt, citrus, baking spices, tanned leather and toasted oak. The whiskey fills the mouth with an array of semisweet flavors ranging from toffee, caramel and fruit to vanilla and dried ginger. Its lingering finish is spicy and silky smooth.

If you're looking for a skillfully crafted whiskey brimming with character and personality, look no further than Stranahan's. Kudos!