After The Slopes, Après Ski In Style—In A Life-Sized Whiskey Barrel
March 21, 2023 –––––– Julia Higgins
Sure, you may have seen a whiskey barrel before, but what are the odds that you’ve spent time inside of one? If you’ve ever wanted to get up close and personal to whiskey and hold court within a barrel, there’s an opportunity to do just that—if you’re spending time in Colorado’s Vail Valley, that is. As spring skiing kicks into high gear, Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey has teamed up with Stoke & Rye at The Westin Riverfront in Avon, Colorado for a new après ski experience.
The distillery’s partnership with Stoke & Rye kicked off on March 17; from now until Sunday, April 2, four giant heated whiskey barrels—with capacity for four guests each—are situated on the restaurant’s patio, available for reservations from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The restaurant itself—an American grill serving up alpine-inspired dishes by chef Richard Sandoval—has direct gondola access to Beaver Creek Mountain, and is a stone’s throw away from other top-tier ski resorts, among them Vail and Copper Mountain.
Central to this new après ski affair are two Stranahan’s tasting experiences, with a whiskey cocktail and single malt pours offered alongside a special menu developed by the Stoke & Rye culinary team. At $90 a head, the Blue Peak Experience kicks off with a Maple Old Fashioned made with Stranahan’s Blue Peak, a 4 year old single malt that’s solera-finished. The cocktail is served alongside a burrata salad. Following this is a pour of Stranahan’s Original single malt, paired with smoked oysters; the Blue Peak Experience concludes with Stranahan’s Sherry Cask (a single malt finished in oloroso sherry casks) and beef tartare. If you’re feeling particularly peckish after a day on the slopes, the Black Diamond Experience ($110 per person) includes all three Blue Peak courses as well as a dessert, in the form of Stranahan’s Diamond Peak single malt—a limited release that blends whiskeys aged 5 to 8 years that’s then finished in Jose Cuervo extra ańejo tequila barrels—and bread pudding.
Reservations are required for the Stranahan’s Après Ski Lounge, and can be made here. If drinking and dining within a life-size whiskey barrel isn’t quite alluring enough on its own, there’s also a charitable side to this pop-up—a portion of proceeds from the experience will go toward The Cycle Effect, a Colorado-based non-profit that’s dedicated to empowering young women through mountain biking.