Stranahan’s – Colorado Whiskey – Batch #116 | 47% (94 Proof) $56.99 (Here)
Color/Appearance: Light amber. On the bottle it says non-chill filtered, but it neglects to mention natural color, which probably means they use some colorant. Seems odd, since normally when using freshly charred oak barrels the color comes so easily. Oh well, in the U.S. whiskey market where everything has great natural color they must have felt a need. On another note, American single malts like this seem to always go with the lively freshly charred barrels. It really puts these into a category of their own with much more up font sweetness and a bourbon like intensity. The bottle itself is great with its extreme tallness and skewed label. The label has some nice graphic design and its small size gives the light ample room to play with the whisky. The tin cup that covers the top is unnecessary but maybe that’s just because I have no use for it. The label has some handwritten info on it which I always appreciate and a nifty little place for a custom message. My bottle says “Made ya Look!”
Nose: Caramel toffee with coffee and dusty coco. Nutty and rich with great intensity. Walnuts, polish and raisins. Maybe it’s the youth but this one takes its time to open up. It’s certainly worth the wait. Fresh green oak and unlit tobacco.
Palate: Again, give it some time and you will be rewarded. Seems to get better and better in the glass until there is none left. Maple syrup and cinnamon red hots. Marzipan and toffee with a thick and wonderful mouthfeel. It tastes like the crust on a crème brûlée. Very nice. Some young spirit burn and slightly aggressive wood are present, though I find these integrate well into the style this whiskey seems to possess. It’s a little rough and untamed but underneath there is tons of delicious character. It sort of mirrors the profile of bourbon but carves out it owns niche. This is really nice as it ticks all of those bourbon-like checkboxes but gives you completely different package.
Finish: Rich dark chocolate, coffee, a faint wisp of smoke and crisp dry oak. The flavor lingers for a good long time making each sip feel special.
Overall: Bold and charismatic this American single malt has recently had some increased availability. I am sure glad I grabbed some. It is a little too brash and young but it has so many great things going for it. If you are only used to drinking single malts this may be a little too rough around the edges for you. But for me this vibrancy is nice and seems to put it squarely into the emerging American single malt genre. I wish I felt like Stranahan’s was working towards something older and more mature but since they have built up their near cult status selling something that is two years old there is little reason for them to switch. Every time I drink this its score keeps going up. It has a very distinct and cravable profile. I think that it has broad appeal and is a whiskey that I am glad to own.