There is whiskey and then there is Stranahan’s.
On my overly quick trip to Denver I had appointments with financial planners, the beginnings of becoming an old man check up at the doctor, a fantasy football football party that was three months late and visiting the family.
But the highlight of the trip was the distillery tour of Stranahan’s.
Stranahan’s is Colorado’s own whiskey. It is made right in the Centennial State and they are very proud of it.
The whiskey got its start right in Colorado up near a little town called Aspen. There the head dudes used to sit around with Hunter S. Thompson and refine their craft until one day the place burned down. Some say under questionable circumstances. They moved to Denver and as they say, the rest is history.
Its not Bourbon. Not a Scotch. Not an Irish. Not a Rye. It’s Stranahan’s. They call it it a Straight Rocky Mountain Whiskey. They do every thing different. They distill it different. The mash is different. In a nutshell it just rocks!
Stranahan’s shares it distillery/brewery with the Rackhouse Pub in downtown Denver at 200 South Kalamath. It is a small place and is open to the public. They hold tours every day but I encourage you to sign up in advance at their website Stranahans.
I have been on a lot of brewery tours in my day. I have visited the giant Anheuser Busch breweries in St. Louis and in Tampa. I have been to a micro-brewery or two including Henry Weinhard’s in Portland back in the day. I have even toured a backyard brewery in a friends garage where they made a pretty tasty brew. I have never been to a still or a moonshiner’s secret in the deep woods of Kentucky but I thought it would be cool.
The Stranahan’s tour was great! It took about 45 minutes and the young lady showed us everything from start to finish. The barrel room was very cool as our tour guide talked about the challenges of the Rocky Mountain climate.
The stills looked like they could come right out of a Kentucky farm house and they explained the use of a gas pump nozzle on how they fill the barrels.
The best part was at the end. The tasting–of course. Each of us were educated on how to experience the whiskey at it’s finest.
What was most cool is the filling parties that they hold. Every couple months or so volunteers can come to the distillery and help fill the bottles of Stranahan’s. I don’t think any other brewery in the world does this. After a few hours of standing on your feet you will get a complimentary bottle for your “hard work.”
Every product has its gimmick. We all know that. But the folks at Stranahan’s have taken that to a new level. Each batch comes with its own label and there is a place where the brew master can share a few notes. There you will find things like: “Listening to AC/DC”, “Go Avs!”, or even “I’m in the dog house.” telling about a rough night on the home-front. The people at Stranahan’s believe that special touch adds something to the whiskey itself. How could it not? Listening to hard rock while distilling the stuff has to have an effect, doesn’t it?
I have become a huge Deadwood fan. The series appeared on HBO a few years ago and I just got around to watching it on Netflix. When I think of whiskey I think of the Old West and I think of how they used to drink back then.
In the Deadwood days a Pony was 10 cents and a Jigger was 15 cents. My, how things have changed. But I don’t think the taste of whiskey has changed much. Back in the day they drank out of the bottle and everybody had hair on their chests!
When you take your first shot of Stranahan’s you will notice a difference. It is nothing like the taste of Jack Daniels, Scotch or Jim Beam. It is potent and you will feel it right as it explodes in your mouth.
You will taste hints of citrus, floral, vanilla and maybe even coffee. It is very smooth and flows down just as it should. It is a fine drink but I will warn you it has some real kick!
Where to buy
Of course you can buy Stranahan’s right at the distillery/brewery. We bought three bottles. One for my wife, Michele’s dad, one for me and one for a friend in Alaska. I had two bottles packaged up so I could take them on the plane and they made them up North with no problems.
A bottle will set you back a cool $59 bucks. Remember this is not your ordinary Jack. You will pay for the experience of a fine whiskey like Stranahan’s. It is worth every penny.
You can also buy it right from the web at Total Beverage and search Stranahans.