Stranahan’s has long built a reputation for its 100% Colorado-born single malt whiskey, to the point where it has recently begun branching out into special edition releases. The latest is this “Distillery Exclusive,” a 5 year old malt finished in Caribbean rum casks for an undisclosed length of time.
Ready to dive in? Here goes:
This is an immediately unusual bottling, the rum influence weighing heavily on the experience from the start, though that’s a good or a bad thing depending on your point of view. The nose is curious, and initially indistinct, with notes of fortune cookies, brown butter, and molasses. But honestly, it smells like rum. The palate promptly pounds on that button: It’s rich, pungent, with intense notes of coconut, overripe pineapple, ginger, caramel sauce, and a dusting of tiki spices. While everything settles slowly, it’s the coconut notes that linger forever on the finish, to the point where, again, the mind insists that this is rum, not whiskey.
Frankly, I wouldn’t consider using this in any other way than as a rum substitute; if ever a case was to be made for a distillery ordering finishing casks “extra wet” to do their work, this is definitely it. Mission accomplished, I suppose.
90 proof. Reviewed: Batch #2.
B+ / $70 / stranahans.com