As the first (legal) distillery to open in Colorado since the end of Prohibition, Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey has been setting the gold standard for distilling in the Centennial State for nearly two decades. And now they’re getting more experimental with some new whiskey programs.
Perfecting the Original
Stranahan’s was born from a friendship literally forged in fire. The two founders met when volunteer firefighter Jess Graber responded to neighbor George Stranahan’s barn fire. They lost the barn but discovered a shared love of whiskey, eventually leading them to create what has become the top American single malt whiskey in the United States: Stranahan’s Original Single Malt Whiskey. The first batch was distilled in 2004 from the same ingredients the distillery still uses today: malted barley, yeast and the purest Rocky Mountain spring water, aged in new charred American white oak barrels.
Since then, the distillery has won numerous awards for its flagship whiskey — most recently a double gold medal at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, plus a ton of others.
Adding to the Lineup
But the creative craft distillers at Stranahan's weren’t content to rest on their laurels.
“As the pioneer of American Single Malt, we’ve always sought to push boundaries,” says head distiller Owen Martin.
Soon after perfecting their Original Single Malt recipe, Stranahan’s started innovating, leading to the creation of a broader lineup of whiskeys, including their Sherry Cask and Blue Peak whiskeys. Both have become popular nationwide, but you might find that they taste best under their own roof at Stranahan’s Denver-based distillery. Visitors can try them (along with the Original Single Malt and Cask Strength Single Barrel) on the Original Guided Whiskey Tasting: an intimate 45-minute guided tasting and exploration of prominent whiskey flavor profiles.
With its once-experimental whiskeys firmly embedded as part of its regular lineup, Stranahan’s distillers had no choice but to keep innovating. The distillery’s new rotation of limited edition Distillery Exclusives and Distiller’s Experimentals are all focused on expanding the complexity of the Stranahan’s signature flavor profile, and are only available at the distillery, where Martin and his team develop and test their latest creations.
Visitors to Stranahan’s can purchase bottles of these whiskeys at the distillery’s General Store. Distiller’s Experimentals can all be tasted in the Distiller’s Experimental Guided Whiskey Tasting, a 45-minute guided tasting and discussion of the distilling processes that created three of these unique whiskeys, and how they compare to their popular Original Single Malt.
“We’ve been conducting these in-house experiments for years,” Martin says. “We’re excited to finally let our fans have a peek behind the curtain!”