Sunday, July 17, 2011

Do Something: Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey Tour

It was about two years ago that I discovered Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey. I wasn't a very big whiskey fan before taking my first sip of George's namesake, but my liquor cart never goes without it these days. I'm not saying that Stranahan's is the best whiskey out there (my vote actually goes to Templeton Rye), but its the distillery tour, combined with its smokey flavor that won me over.

I've toured a number of breweries, from our neighbors in Golden to the scrappy startups in Ft. Collins, and I'll always be a fan of brew tours, but the good folks at Stranahan's do a great job of combining a solid story with an interesting 'still process and a whole lot of pride in their product. You'll get to hear about how the process starts from the bi-product of a local brewery, how the 'stills actually work, what types of barrels are used and how long each batch has to sit before its ready to be sipped. Oh, and then you get to sample some of the deliciousness to finish the tour before you exit into the Rackhouse Pub for some lobster mac 'n cheese, or something similarly fantastic off their menu.

The whole experience is part educational, part supporting a local business, part "I wish I worked here," a touch of "Oh, so that's what Uncle Jesse was always up to out in the Back 40," and it finishes with a sample of some of the best whiskey out there. And if you time it right, you might have the chance to buy a bottle from one of their quarterly Snowflake batches *drool*. Its clear they put a lot of effort into their craft - hand labeled bottles, extra steps in the distilling process...they've become so popular that the labels are actually put on by volunteer enthusiasts - it makes even the non-whiskey drinker appreciate how its created.

I don't know much about making booze, but if you are looking for a fairly quick, interesting and fun activity on a weekend afternoon with a group of friends, make a stop at Stranahan's (book your tour ahead of time...they tend to fill up early and often) and then grab a bite at the Rackhouse as you figure out which one of your friends has enough room for a 'sill in his basement.

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