- DISTILLER: Stranahan’s
- MASH BILL: 100% Malted Barley
- AGE: 4 years
- YEAR: 2022
- PROOF: 86 (43% ABV)
- MSRP: $40
FRANK'S REVIEW OF BLUE PEAK SINGLE MALT
SHARE WITH: Your bourbon or rye-loving friend who’s anxious to get into the Next Big Thing™ in American Whiskey.
WORTH THE PRICE" Yes! Not only is this whiskey exceedingly affordable, but it comes in a super cool bottle that’s well worth the price.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bottle. Whether you’re someone who has been enjoying American Single Malt for years or someone looking to get into the category as it grows in popularity, this is a can’t-miss expression that will scratch whatever itch you have.
OVERALL: Stranahan’s has been making whiskey since 2004, which is no small feat in the American craft whiskey space. With nearly two decades of experience under their belt they’ve already produced everything from a high-quality flagship expression (Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey), a delicious finished effort (Stranahan’s Sherry Cask), and a feverishly sought-after limited edition offering (Stranahan’s Snowflake). With all the wisdom accrued from producing those award-winning whiskeys, Stranahan’s has now turned their sights to offering a more approachable take on American Single Malt in an attempt to “marry tradition with innovation.”
How they achieve that is by utilizing the Solera finishing process, a fractional aging and blending method, that’s more commonly found in the world of wine. After double distilling their whiskey and aging it for four years in new American oak barrels with a #3 char, the mature whiskey is dumped into American oak foeders where “a portion of the mature whiskey is removed, cut to proof with pristine Rocky Mountain water and chill filtered. Meanwhile, newly harvested whiskey is added to the remnants to marry. Since the foeders is never emptied, the solera process allows for continuous marriage, maturation, and flavor development in the whiskey it holds.”
So how does it taste? Well, let’s see…the nose opens with a blast of cherry saltwater taffy and cotton candy, ground nutmeg and an elusive dash of star anise that comes and goes. Dried cranberry steeped in herbal tea, the faintest bit of mint leaf, and even the aroma of cream soda all make their way out of the glass. The aromas are all very well developed despite being a bit restrained – which is indicative of the
proof more so than the quality.
Once the liquid meets your lips it graces the palate with golden raisins and brown sugar along with cocoa powder and banana. Soon after, the taste of nutmeg and a touch of black pepper pops at mid palate and travels to the roof of the mouth before concluding with grain-forward malt, cotton candy, and semi-sweet cherry taffy notes. This whiskey tastes "clean" with none of the flavors coming across as muddled and the finish is surprisingly long lasting for such a low proof expression. All in all I’d say Stranahan’s Blue Peak (named for the 13-thousand-foot peak in Aspen) marries “approachability” and “complexity” without sacrificing one for the other – an admirable feat in itself. You’ll most definitely want to give this bottle a try if you want to discover what the American single malt category has to offer.
BLUE PEAK SINGLE MALT TASTING NOTES
Named for a 13-thousand-foot peak in Aspen, Stranahan’s® Blue Peak™ Single Malt is double-distilled at high altitude and aged for 4 years in new American oak barrels with a #3 char, imbuing a warm, toasted flavor. The Solera finished spirit boasts flavors of creamy butterscotch, brown sugar plus baked apples with notes of cayenne and toasted oak.
NOSE: Dried apricot, nutmeg, cinnamon toast, hints of leather and light tobacco.
TASTE: Creamy butterscotch and brown sugar, baked apples, with notes of cayenne and toasted oak.
FINISH: Rich and mellow, earthy malt gently fades into lingering spices.