Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Stranahan’s. This in no case, by our editorial policies, influenced the final result of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the purchase link near the bottom of this review, our site receives a small sponsorship payment which helps support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
A good story goes a long way in the whiskey industry, and the founding of Stranahan’s is a good story. In the middle of the Colorado mountains, a barn fire raged uncontrollably, saved only by the bravery of Jess Graber, a volunteer firefighter. The owner of the barn was whiskey connoisseur George Stranahan, and the two forged a friendship over the destruction, ultimately founding Stranahan’s Single Malt Whiskey.
The first batch of Stranahan was bottled in 2006 and the team have worked hard since developing their brand as a small batch craft distillery that carries the title of being Colorado’s first legal distillery since Prohibition. Using the crystal-clear Rocky Mountain water, Stranahan’s focused on delivering high quality whiskey to loyal consumers.
This year sees the release of Stranahan’s Caribbean Rum Cask expression, an American single malt made from five-year-old casks and finished in Caribbean rum casks. This finish ensures a rich and robust flavor profile.
This expression is part of the Distillery Exclusive series and, like others in the series, is distilled from 100% malted barley. This small batch is a marriage of five to nine years of single malt whiskey from Stranahan and is aged in virgin American oak barrels. After first maturation, Stranahan’s Caribbean Rum Cask whiskey is finished in unique Caribbean rum casks for up to three years.
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Owen Martin, Chief Distiller of Stranahan, says the phrase is meant to “showcase our continued innovation within the growing category of American single malts.” Up to three years of aging in Caribbean rum casks results in a whiskey with vibrant tropical flavors.
Stranahan’s bottle is attractive, with an integrated dram that screws onto the cork and a classic label accompanying the glass etched on the body of the bottle. It’s little details like these that help Stranahan’s stand out from other young brands, and the whiskey delights the palate, with the final maturation process in the rum cask permeating the profile, offering something a little different. other American single malt expressions.
Tasting Notes: Stranahan’s Caribbean Rum Whiskey
Vital Statistics: Bottled at 90 Proof (45% ABV). 100% malt barley puree. Aged in virgin American oak barrels with No. 3 charcoal. Finished up to three years in Caribbean rum casks. Available only at the Denver, Colorado Distillery.
Appearance: Strawberry blonde.
Nose: The lightly burnt sugar and the dates come straight out of the bottle. Once it is a little open, the nose softens and the sweetness of the whiskey is very promising.
Palace: This promise is materialized by the sweetness and a little rummy wood from the barrel. The aroma of vanilla and coffee notes on the finish is reminiscent of a vanilla latte.
There is much to enjoy with Stranahan Caribbean Rum Whiskey. It is different enough from other Stranahan single malt expressions to recommend it. The sweet and overly sweet side is right there with this whiskey, but it manages to rest on the right side of that line, and it will lend itself well to a sip on a cool fall day or in a vibrant cocktail.
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