Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey is a distillery named after one of its founders, George Stranahan, who founded it together with (then) volunteer fire fighter Jess Graber, and Jake Graber – who still serves as production manager and Head distiller today, though the company has been sold to Proximo Beverage Corporation. According to the company history available on their website, George and Jess met when the Jess was one of the firemen to respond to a fire in George’s barn. The two got talking, and as it turned out they both had a passion for the Colorado nature and a tipple of fine whiskey – and that’s where it all started.
Interesting, George Stranahan also owns the Flying Dog brewery – which just happens to be one of my favourite American breweries. If you haven’t tried their Gonzo Imperial Porter or Double Dog Double Pale Ale yet, I would highly recommend them both. Needless to say, then, my hopes are once again set high! Now, let’s get back to Stranahan’s Colorado Malt, which (to my knowledge, at least) is the only whiskey they make.
It pours a beautifully dark, mahogany-gold, which is very inviting indeed. The nose is thick, warm, and packed with fresh vanilla – when it comes to getting vanilla right, trust the Americans to know how. Regular readers will perhaps have noticed that there is one particular note that will always increase my liking of a whiskey markedly: banana. In the case of Stranahan’s, there’s a fair bit of it, and it’s joined by another favourite of my – cinnamon. They go together absolutely beautifully, and add complexity to the sweetness of the vanilla. There is also a definite bit of fresh fruit crisp that breaks off the thick syrupiness beautifully, consisting of apples and just a touch citrus. A true stunner, this one.
The palate starts out where the nose ended, with a bit of apple, but this is soon replaced by a very healthy serving of vanilla – once again very thick, creamy and lovingly warm – and that seductive banana from the nose. The citrus is slightly more pronounced and a bit less sweet, sugared grapefruit perhaps? All of it is balanced out by a pinch of spice that does nothing if not make you long for your next sip.
Priced around £60 in the UK it’s not a cheap whiskey, but if you ask me it’s worth every single penny. A true masterpiece, I would warmly recommend it to anyone and everyone. Oh and I nearly forgot- as some of you will know already, I’m a sucker for a well-designed bottle, and by god this one’s a beaut! From the shape of the bottle to the thin, hand-written wrap-around label, to the quirky cap, it’s one for the bar globe.
Nose: Warm, thick, fresh vanilla, banana, cinnamon, apple and a touch of citrus.
Palate: Apple, lots of vanilla, banana, sweet grapefruit, pinch of spice.