Drinkhacker has steadily sampled the products of Colorado-based Stranahan’s over the years, chronicling the various hits and misses as it continues to explore twists on American single malt whiskeys. This Extra Anejo Tequila Cask bottling is the latest in the limited-edition Distillery Exclusives line, which are only available at the distillery. The Extra Añejo Tequila Cask blends various six to nine year old whiskeys which are then aged up to two and a half additional years in José Cuervo extra añejo tequila casks.
For those unfamiliar with tequila categories, there are now four primary ones: blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo, with the last category reflecting a minimum of three years aging.
The nose is lush with notes of caramelized bananas, buttered rolls, apple cider, and mint. The palate is not as syrupy as I had subconsciously expected, and instead arrives with a lime-rind-infused bitter spiciness, burnt caramel, and notes of cinnamon Red Hot candies. A pleasant bitterness lingers in the finish, where the tequila notes show strongest. At 90 proof, the pour is dialed perfectly to cut this spice-forward expression.
Tequila fans will enjoy this; for core whiskey fans, it may walk too fine a line of being too novel for repeat sipping. Still not a bad change of scenery in one’s whiskey exploration, and poured over a generous helping of ice, it makes for a pleasant after-dinner winding down sipper. Probably a great base as well for any of your traditional tequila or whiskey cocktails.
B+ / $70 / stranahans.com