Sunday, June 3, 2012

Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey

_MG_6550.jpgAfter a long morning of hunting for dinosaurs we headed home for lunch. While the little ones took naps us older adults, minus my mom, the babysitter, headed to Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey for a tour and a taste of some of the finest whiskey around. There's no shortage of whiskey in this place.
_MG_6551.jpgThis is our tour guide, Taylor. He poses at just the right time. No need to ask; he just does it.
_MG_6552.jpgI have no idea what is going on here. I think that guy there must be checking the temperature or something.
_MG_6554.jpgThis tour was slightly similar to the Oskar Blues in that it was all over my head. They both did have these fermenters. That looked familiar. So, whiskey begins with beer. Did you know that? Then I got lost after that.
_MG_6556.jpgI tried really hard to listen and understand it all, but things seemed to get a bit more complicated than making just beer. There was a lof of chemistry talk about atoms and things. The equipment was pretty cool.
_MG_6555.jpgThe whiskey does flow through this stuff for some reason. I think it had something to do with keeping the alcohol content high? Who knows. Perhaps you should visit Stranahan's for your own tour, or come and visit me and I'll take you. While I didn't understand everything it was still quite fascinating.
_MG_6558.jpgThis was a beautiful room. It's filled with white oak barrels of aging whiskey. The whiskey ages for at least 2 years, but never more than 5 years. There's something about the whiskey being in white oak that gives it a lovely flavor. Also, in this room are misters. The humidity must always stay around 40% and the temperature is always around 64 degrees. It's a liquid loss thing.
_MG_6565-2.jpgThe barrels are gorgeous aren't they? I wouldn't mind having a few around the house. _MG_6560.jpgWe also learned about bung holes and how a gas pump handle is the perfect fit for a bung hole. That's right! How else do you fill all those barrels with whiskey? Again, Taylor poses right on cue! In all seriousness though, if you're going to tour Stranahan's try and see if Taylor is giving the tour. He's hilarious!
_MG_6568.jpgThere was also this special barrel signed by governor Hickenlooper and some other important people. I'm not sure when it was barreled.
_MG_6570.jpgHere we are in the bottling room. This is where the magic happens. All of the whiskey goes into that big silver thing. Then it gets pumped into the bottles and down the line it goes to get labeled and packaged.
Corn makes whiskey.After the tour we all got a little taste of the whiskey. We learned to smell and swish, and then drink. Besides the burning sensation in my mouth it was fabulous. Then Taylor squirted a little water into each glass. Here's a fun fact for you, courtesy of Taylor: Stranahan's only uses the finest ingredients in their whiskey. That being said, for water, they don't use just plain tap water. They get their water from Eldorado Springs. That's right. And, to make it even better Eldorado Spring Water won 3rd place in the world's best tasting water competition. F'real! Anyway, adding that little squirt of water is supposed to take the edge off a bit. It did.
_MG_6574.jpgThis is the big old truck out front. Awesome, right?
_MG_6576.jpgWe left with a few goodies too!
_MG_6779.jpgWe proudly, now, own a bottle of Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey. Once you've had this you'll never go back to Jim Beam and those other whiskeys. They just don't compare. While this whiskey is a bit strong for me I have to say I'm a huge fan of whiskey sours. I've been prohibited from using this whiskey for my sours, but we'll just see, won't we? How about you? Whiskey fan or whiskey sour fan?
_MG_6781.jpgWhat I love about small private companies like this, and Oskar Blues, is their signatures. Each bottle at Stranahan's is signed and approved by the distiller and a comment is often added. Our bottle says, Vail or Bust!


Gretchen said...

I don't like whiskey, but your story made this one sound good. Pretty bottle, too.

Lauren said...

I agree with Gretchen. The bottle is very cool. But how can you drink whiskey and still take great pictures if a couple sips at Oskar Blues pushed you over the edge?

JAN said...

I like whiskey sours. ;) They didn't give us whiskey until the very end of the tour. We also didn't get much as you can see in the photo. I didn't even finish mine because I was feeling a little buzz. Seriously, I have no tolerance.