Although sales of Stranahan’s whiskey are growing, the Colorado distillery has played it smart by keeping their standard porfolio rather tight. There’s the standard Stranahan’s whiskey, aged at least two years. Then there’s Diamond Peak, a single malt with double the age of the standard. The youngest whiskey in the bottle is four years old.
Stranahan’s distillery uses only malted barley, yeast and water to make their whiskey. Only new American white oak barrels with a #3 char are used to mature the whiskey. What emerges with time is essentially an American single malt whiskey, though there is no official designation for that category in this country. I lightly touch on that subject here.
Bottled at 47% abv, Diamond Peak’s extra age comes across in the nose. Hints of sweet malt and caramel dominate, complemented by cinammon, orange zest, and medium roast coffee. The palate is bolder and more complex than the standard Stranahan’s. Wonderful notes of figs, brown sugar, honey, sweet malt and dark fruits shine, while hints of grapefruit and vanilla emerge in the mid-palate. Dark chocolate and a slight touch of oak develop and help balance out the whiskey. The finish is long and warming, with dark brown sugar, figs and oak notes.
I like the standard Stranahan’s, and I think it does the job nicely. But… for sipping, I’d reach for Diamond Peak almost every time. The nose and palate are richer, darker and feel like a more complete whiskey. I really like what more age did to this whiskey, and can’t help but think what a six or eight year old Stranahan’s would taste like. I can keep dreaming forever, but thankfully I can reach for this stuff in the meantime. Nicely done! 8.5/10
Thanks to Stranahan’s for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.