The first tipple I had at Gamlin Whiskey House (more details on my visit can be found here) was Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. Stranahan’s is the creation of Jess Graber and George Stranahan. You can read all about their folklore here. I’m not much into back stories. I really just want to know what makes the tipple what it is and if it’s any good.
This whiskey comes to us from the cold, mountainous land of Denver, Colorado. It’s made from a mashbill of 100% malted barley. Stranahan’s uses 4 different varieties of barley grown in Colorado. They distill it with 100% Colorado, charcoal filtered (to remove impurities) snow melt to 140 proof. It is then aged in new oak barrels which have been heavily charred (#4) for 2-5 years (until it tastes the way they want it to taste). It’s then bottled at 94 proof and released to us, the thirsty public.
This is the first 100% malted barley, American whiskey I’ve ever had so I don’t have a lot to judge it by other than my palate. So, let’s see what I thought about it.
STRANAHAN’S COLORADO WHISKEY
Age: NAS (Approximately 2-5 Years Old)
ABV: 47% (Non-Chill Filtered)
Batch: 151 (10-20 Barrels)
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Price: N/A (Dram Purchased at Gamlin Whiskey House)
Hazy yellow. Slight amber tint.
Malt forward. Followed by honey, spice, stone fruit (apricot), and a slight bit of new make.
Fruit and caramel dominate for control of the taste buds at the center of the tongue. Cinnamon and nutmeg hangout at the corners of the palate. It’s a little thin. Lacking that “whiskey love” or burn as you might call it. It feels closer to 80 proof than the 94 proof at which it rests.
Medium-long. Caramel and cinnamon roll flavors dominate. There is a slight bit of fruit in there as well but I just can’t put my finger on it.
The typical price for a 750ml bottle is $55-60. For one of the few well-produced, American-made, readily available malt whiskies on the market I find this to be a pretty good price.
I really like this whiskey. It’s a malt-forward, spicy (on the sweet end – cinnamon) whiskey. I don’t like it quite as much as Josh over at The WhiskeyJug liked his bottle. But, that’s to be expected. Stranahan’s obviously looks for a good flavor profile in each of their releases but they allow for variance and I think we, as the consumer, benefit from this experimentation. My batch was a little thin (although this could be due to it being the last dram in the bottle – not my favorite way to try a whiskey – and it could have been sitting on the bar in that state for a few days/weeks) and the nose had a bit of off-putting new make which held it back a bit. However, I liked what I drank and I have not heard any real negatives to what is coming out of their Denver distillery. I will be buying a bottle in the near future. Keep up the good work Jess and George. Cheers!
84/100 (A Solid Tipple)