Thursday, September 10, 2009

Malt Mission 2009 #366

Straight Rocky Mountain Whiskey
batch 32, 11/22/06

47% abv


As promised, here come some more world whiskies, starting with this sweet drop from firefighter/booze-lover partners Jess Gerber and George Stranahan. Using Rocky Mountain water and Rocky mountain barley, 80% from within Colorado, Stranahan's holds fast to the belief that the quality of the sources of their natural ingredients separate them from the rest of the whiskey-making world.

First bottled in April 2006, Stranahan's remains a truly small-batch operation with about 60,000 bottles released per annum. And, so far as I can tell, Stranahan's is a single malt in that it is made from barley exclusively. Sku's Recent Eats confirms this with his complete list of American Whisky Distilleries and Brands, the only one of its kind online, I believe. Thanks for the resource, Sku.

Now let's taste.


Delicious butterscotch sweetness. Cedar, oak, banana chips and other dried fruit.

Big vanilla bearhug, woody, apple-y, and mildly spicy. Quick sweet finish encourages another sip. Or serving.


Simple and simply wonderful. Quaffable, sweet, and balanced whiskey, although nothing distinctly single malt about it. It shares features more with American-style whiskey. And that's no criticism.

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Will said...

As I recall, my favorite thing about Stranahan's was the metal shotglass that serves as its cap. :)

mrkvm said...

YES! I've been waiting for the good doctor to perform a mission on this fine whiskey from my home state.

A couple of notes:
- Although it's a single malt, it's actually aged in new charred oak barrels like a traditional American bourbon. So, it's a weird mix of the two styles.
- I'm told they constantly cycle the temperature in the aging warehouse to mimic the effects of a much longer aging period. I don't know if that's really true (or if that would even work). Anyone know?
- Several Colorado microbreweries use spent Stranahan's barrels to make special whiskey barrel aged versions of their beers. In particular, if you are ever in Lyons or Longmont in Colorado, be sure stop by Oskar Blues to try one of their barrel-aged ales. Excellent stuff!

sku said...

Thanks for the shout out Doc. Stranahan's, by the way, just released a series of finished whiskies, making it the first American microdistillery to work with finishes that I'm aware of.

Unknown said...

Must pick up a bottle!! I've really started to dig American Whiskies. This is next on my list

Desert Dog said...

I just tried Stranahans for the first time this week. I really enjoyed it (think I'll have a glass right now!). Review is on my site.