Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey - Snowflake 2016 Release Party

The weather forecast for Denver, Colorado on Saturday December 3 may not be calling for snow but at Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Distillery the snow, or in this case the Snowflake is guaranteed to be flying around at the distillery starting at 8am sharp.

Stranahan’s has announced the 2016 release of their limited edition Snowflake expression: Crestone Peak. This will be the 19th in the line of rare and unique Stranahan’s Snowflake whiskies. As with all Snowflake expressions, each one is named after a Rocky Mountain peak, and this year marks the 100th anniversary of the first successful summit of Crestone.

Drawing a Crowd on a Cold Morning
Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey - Lines form for Snowflake Purchase

After a dozen years of making small batch malt whiskey, the folks at Stranahan’s know how to do two things – How to make fine American Malt Whiskey and how to draw a crowd. This limited edition whiskey will only be available at the distillery. Tickets to this fan frenzied event will start being distributed at 6:30am with the doors opening at 8:00am. Fans are expected to start lining up for a chance to get a bottle of Snowflake up 24 hours in advance.

The good news is the only real snow predicted for this release party will be in the bottle. The temperature at 6:00am is predicted to be 17° with a 7 mph wind making it feel like 11°. Fans may want to think about a packing a flask to help stay warm.

Master Distiller Rob Dietrich’s Custom Blend
Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey - Snowflake 2016, Crestone Peak - Master Distiller, Rob Dietrich at work

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Stranahan’s Snowflake is a custom-finish blend created by Master Distiller Rob Dietrich, with each year’s batch completely unique. Rob takes Stranahan’s Original and, over the course of up to two years, finishes it in a variety of used casks from all over the world. Each year’s batch spends a varying amount of time in different barrels, so the flavor results change every year due to the Master Distiller’s expert blending.

Stranahan’s says the process to create Batch 19 was an arduous one and required months of experimentation involving various cask combinations before settling on a final flavor profile. Rob has chosen to celebrate Crestone Peak – Colorado’s seventh highest summit – by marrying the whiskeys from seven different barrels to create this edition of Snowflake. One very special barrel included is a Spanish Syrah Amador wine cask, paying homage to the town of Crestone, which was part of a land grant originally gifted by the King of Spain dating back to the 1600s.

“I’m excited to share this year’s Snowflake with our StranaFans,” said Rob. “Stranahan’s Snowflake is my favorite project because I get to color outside of the lines and nose and experiment to see how our original American Single Malt captures the nuances of all seven casks used. Each year it’s a challenge to ‘out-Snowflake’ the last, and I believe this Crestone Peak spirit is unlike anything else out there right now. It’s worth the wait in line!”

Stranahan’s Single Malt Whiskey Snowflake is made from 100% malted barley and Rocky Mountain water. It’s made in small batches and aged for a minimum of two years in new American white oak barrels with a #3 char before being transferred for finishing in used wine, sherry, cognac, rum & tequila barrels.

The seven barrels used for the 2016 No. 19 batch are:

  • 1 Syrah Amador wine cask
  • 1 Madeira wine cask
  • 1 Old Vine Zinfandel wine cask
  • 1 Saint Croix Rum cask
  • 2 4-year old Stranahan’s whiskey casks
  • 1 5-year old Stranahan’s whiskey cask

Snowflake Tasting Notes

Nose: Bright, musky apricot, dried cherry, vanilla, marzipan, wood shavings
Palate: Vibrantly fruit-forward, with clover honey, cinnamon bark, and nutty wood characteristics, finishing with amaretto cheesecake and a cinnamon-citrus tingle

Guests hoping to land a bottle of this year’s Snowflake may start lining up at the distillery, located at 200 S. Kalamath Street in Denver, as early as Friday morning, December 2nd.

Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Snowflake
Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey - Snowflake 2016, Crestone Peak

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