As is often the case, G-LO goes to his mail box and finds a generous sample of whiskey while I go to my mail box and find a note from Publisher’s Clearing House stating that I may be a winner. While I’m holding out hope that I may have picked up the better piece of mail, deep down, I know that I did not. So G-LO receives some whiskey that he’s very willing to share while I receive some recyclable material (for the record, I did not offer to share my recyclables). I need to have a long heart to heart chat with my mailman!
A couple of weeks ago, G-LO dropped by The Barthenon to gloat a bit and share his spoils (he may be generous, but he’s still very much a douche! And such a GLOating bastard). What he brought over was a healthy sample of Stranahan’s latest and greatest which arrived in a handsome flask shaped bottle (I am such a sucker for pretty packaging!). For those that aren’t familiar with this brand, Stranahan’s is a Colorado distiller that produces three whiskey expressions: the Original, the Diamond Peak and the Snowflake. While all of the whiskies are released at 94 proof (47% ABV), the difference is in the aging. The Original is a blend of whiskey aged 2, 3 and 5 years. The Diamond Peak is aged 4 years. The Snowflake takes the Original and finishes the whiskey in oak barrels that previously held wine, sherry, cognac, rum and tequila.
Here’s what Stranahan’s has to say about their Sherry Cask Single Malt Whiskey:
Stranahan’s Sherry Cask is an American single malt whiskey that is aged for four years in new white American oak barrels, then cask-finished in Spanish Oloroso Sherry barrels. Procured from the Andalusia region of southern Spain, these sherry barrels have been aging wine for over 40 years, leaving a depth of flavor soaked into the ancient oak staves. Under the helm of Master Distiller Rob Dietrich, Stranahan’s is continually experimenting with new expressions of American Single Malt & unique cask finishes.
Now that you have the back story, let’s get on with are our impressions of Stranahan’s latest expression…
- Appearance: Deep, rich, amber color.
- ABV: 47%
- Limpd: A bit astringent with maple syrup, stone fruits (plums) and furniture polish (ah, the barrel).
- G-LO: Very rich smelling with hints of brown sugar, dried fruit, vanilla, cinnamon and other baking spices. Almost getting a vermouth type of scent from it thanks to some herbal notes on the back end.
- Limpd: A little thin with a tart, puckering quality that quickly combats the early sweetness. A little too sherry for me. There is a mild heat in a modest, very dry finish.
- G-LO: Quite different from other sherry cask matured whiskies I’ve tried. Not quite as rich or thick tasting. Lots of sherry coming through from start to finish, but it doesn’t taste very old. It’s quite young and vibrant with lots of bright sherry notes and very little harshness. Again, it almost has a vermouth quality to it.
Limpd: This was very different from other sherried whiskies (I have a particular fondness for Aberlour). Compared to those whiskies, the Stranahan’s Sherry Cask seems a little immature with maybe a little too much sherry flavor, but without the aged, robust flavors of the whiskey to counter balance it. I would tuck a few barrels of this into a quiet spot and give it another try in a few years.
G-LO: This definitely grew on me. I found this whisky to be bright, flavorful, easy drinking, and also quite unique. Not a great whiskey, but well worth trying.