Whisky Advocate

Review: Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey (Batch #49)

March 10th, 2010

Here’s another 16th Annual Malt Advocate award winner, which was originally announced here last month. (Our “Artisan Whiskey of the Year.”) This is my formal review for the Buyer’s Guide. A solid whiskey–especially for its age.

84 Stranahan’s (Batch #49), 47%, $55
It shows nice maturity, considering it contains whisky as young as two years old. Smooth, too, with layered sweetness (honeyed caramel, English toffee, maple syrup), tangerine, roasted nuts, and peppered with spice (warming cinnamon, glazed ginger). Good grip of tobacco and polished leather on the finish balances the sweetness that comes earlier. An example of the right way to do artisan distilling.

22 Responses to “Review: Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey (Batch #49)”

  1. Gal says:

    is this the one u had?

  2. Red_Arremer says:

    I wonder when they’ll put out an older version.

    • John Hansell says:

      I hope they are setting some stocks aside for this purpose.

    • Josh West says:

      I emailed them a while back with that same question. I believe they said they were not interested in further aging, as their whiskey ended up tasting more and more like bourbon. I’d expect to see finishing cask releases (which has started) instead of more years in the same wood.

      Either way, I’m excited to see a rating in the mid-eighties. Sounds like they’ve been improving their product — not that I minded bottles from earlier batches 🙂

      • Matt Z says:

        I like Stranahan’s very much, and I’m anxious to try some of these “snowflakes.” If anyone is interested, you can find a couple of these online (just do a google shopping search for stranahan’s snowflake).

  3. Seth Nadel says:

    This is a pretty interesting whiskey with an interesting story. It only goes to show you that anyone with passion can make whiskey.

    • Legally of course…

      I just finished reading ‘Chasing the White Dog’ and there is some background on Stranahan’s in the book. Very interesting… may just have to pick up a bottle.

  4. Louis says:

    I tried it at Whiskyfest NYC last November. Very nicely done, but a tad expensive in this economy, keeping in mind that they are a micro-distillery.

  5. Chris Riesbeck says:

    Any story on the particular reason for the capsule enclosure?…really peculiar topper.

    • H.Diaz says:

      It is a tall shot glass. Free, with purchase.

      • sam k says:

        I used the one on my last bottle, and did not enjoy the metal/whiskey interaction at all. I think it’s more of a decoration that could be used as a drinking vessel in a pinch. (But then I’d rather just drink from the bottle!)

  6. H.Diaz says:

    I know they’re artisinal and everything, and they’d like to make a profit, and I very much support that, especially with food, but at $55, $65 around these parts, it competes with a lot of good Scotch, higher end Bourbon’s, Irish etc…. For a few years now, I’ve been wanting to purchase my first bottle. I just never can seem to reach for it when I’m perusing the aisles.

    Never the less, they should be commended for their hard work and Malt Advocate award.

  7. Good whisky at a good price. Thanks for the review!

  8. JWC says:

    still haven’t tried it yet – like others have posted, at that price, i’d just pay a few more dollars and get a more highly rated bourbon. i realize it’s a microdistillery but… the soon to be released texas whiskey (garrison brothers) i will give a shot because, well, it’s TEXAN.

    • TheMandarin says:

      Stranahan’s is a light, sweet and gentle drinking experience, especially compared to a good spice-monster bourbon. I would actually say the closest thing to Stranahan’s #49 is Redbreast 12, except that Stranahan’s is more malty, less spirity, and less complicated. Takes water well enough, but I’d leave it be at 47%, or perhaps add 1-2 drops. Very delicious, fun, and dangerously easy to drink. I respect their right to price it at $55-65, given their small, artisinal distillery status, but it just doesn’t fit in with my budget and buying strategy.

  9. Alex says:

    The bottle and cap look like a firehose nozzle, with the label curling imitating a hose – wonder if this comes from Jess’ background as a firefighter…or am I reading too much into this design for my own good?

  10. @yossiyitzak says:

    This is top shelf single malt American whiskey, well worth the price! Thanks for the great review!

  11. @yossiyitzak says:

    Yes, Gal, this is the baby! Very nice! For those interested in another review (batch # 29, however) you can find mine here:

  12. Willie says:

    I’ve tried a couple of batches of Stranahan’s (not this one) and been mightily impressed. If I could source it at a reasonable price in Scotland I would drink it regularly.

  13. Peter says:

    Just received a bottle of this as a gift on Saturday night…It’s already half gone. Very impressive and unique for such a youngin’. It reminds me, in a way, of St. George Spirits Single Malt Whiskey. Thanks for the review, John!

  14. […] John also has kind words for Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Batch #49. […]

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