Thursday, April 3, 2008

Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey

Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey
Aged 2 years
Rocky Mountain straight whiskey
47% alc/vol

Stranahan's is one of a very few single malt American whiskeys. Unlike bourbon, Stranahan's is made solely from malted barley, just like Scotch is. Only this stuff is 100% American -- the barley and water come straight from the Rockies. It's only aged for two years, which makes me wonder how it can be so dark. This stuff almost looks like a Macallan or an Aberlour. Caramel coloring, maybe?

The first thing I notice is solvent on the nose. Like nail polish remover. It's hard to dig past it to get to the malt. It tastes sweet and a bit sharp, and finishes with...with what? More sweetness, maybe a little vanilla...

Adding water helps. Now I can elbow my way past the nail polish remover to get to the banana and vanilla that were ducking down behind it. Still sweet, all the way through.

It's not my favorite, but it is nice. Eccentric, too: the label tells you in handwriting not only when it was distilled and what batch it's from (#7!), but also who did the distilling (all I can make out are the guy's initials, J. N.) and what he was listening to at the time (Bob Wills). And if that weren't enough, the cork-sealed bottle is actually capped with a tall metal shotglass. I'm not sure who's hauling around an entire bottle of whiskey without proper glassware, but if you should find yourself in such a position, you'll be good to go if that bottle is Stranahan's!


BA said...

Good review. The stuff sounds interesting, but I can't get it up here in Canada. Too bad, as with the built in glass it seems like the perfect whisky to take on a camping trip...

I did a bit of research into the process on their site - it is so dark despite its age because it is aged in *newly charred* barrels. Also is darker because Colorado is warmer than Scotland, which would speed up the aging reactions.


Charlie said...

Actually, the temperature here is irrelevant; Stranahan's is matured in a temp and humidity controlled environment, 24/7, one of the factors that makes Stranahan's unique. Another is that the spirit is distilled in a unique pot-column still that combines the technologies of pot stills and column stills.