It's gone. All gone. I'm staring at an empty bottle of Stranahan’sColorado Whiskey and feeling a sense of loss that I don't think I've ever felt over an empty liquor bottle. I know that supposedly 24 bottles are somewhere in the state of Oregon, but they are probably on the back bar of some of the better restaurants throughout the state and I want my own private stash of this stuff.
For the record, I'm a whiskey and gin man. I'm ok with other distilled spirits, but its whiskey and gin that work magic on my palate. And this is the best whiskey I've ever tasted. I'm not one prone to hyperbole, but this is the real deal. A truly authentic regional style of American whiskey, a reflection its terroir, its people and the passion of its distillers.
Stranahan’s is distilled in beautiful Denver, Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, using 100% barley, Rocky Mountain water, finished in a #4 alligator char american oak barrel for at least 2 years, Stranahan's takes the best features of classic scotch and bourbon, marries them together, and captures a taste of Colorado as distinctive as any scotch can achieve.
When I get a bottle for review, I like to take my time with it. With whiskey's, first, I'll try them with an ice cube or two to open them up, then I begin mixing them, playing with the flavor nuances particular to each one. I'll preface this by saying that the absolute best way to enjoy Stranahan's is to pour yourself two fingers of whiskey and add two ice cubes (one is acceptable, three too much), swirl the cubes in the glass to open up the bouquet and sit outside and enjoy a beautiful Rocky mountain sunset. Lacking a backyard with a view of the Rockies. Mt. Hood will have to suffice.
Stranahan's does mix incredibly well, but I'd generally advise you to use a lesser whiskey in most cocktails. At most, I'd recommend it in a Manhattan (maybe we should rename this a Denver though) with some Fee Bros Whiskey barrel aged bitters and Carpano Antica. I enjoyed a couple of glasses of Stranahan's this way, and while its delicious, I still prefer to let it sing for itself. This is such a singular whiskey that I think you owe it to yourself to enjoy it on its own. Its got a wonderful spiciness with some fruit undertones on the palate, complemented by an almost honeyed bouquet and a long, lingering finish. This will easily stand up to a great cigar or a nice steak au poivre.
If you have any friends of family (or you want to buy me a gift) who are scotch or bourbon afficionados, this is a great gift and the perfect introduction into American regional whiskies. Unfortunately, my birthday isn't until November, but I am lucky enough to be headed to Denver Friday night. Perhaps I can sneak a bottle or two back in my luggage, because I don't think my liquor cabinet will be complete without this world class Colorado whiskey inside.