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Inside Stranahan’s New Whiskey Bar in Aspen

Inside Stranahan’s New Whiskey Bar in Aspen

Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, no small feat for a distillery that only makes American single malt. To commemorate two decades of Centennial State whiskey-making, the team is opening a new whiskey lodge in Aspen, the mountain town where the brand got its start.

The Stranahan’s story goes like this: Volunteer firefighter Jess Graber showed up to put out a barn fire on brewery owner George Stranahan’s property in 1998, and the two discovered they shared a passion for whiskey. Stranahan’s was founded a few years later in 2004, with the first whiskey bottled just two years after that. Fast-forward 20 years and the distillery is going strong (it’s now owned by Proximo Spirits, who also owns brands like Bushmills and Jose Cuervo).

This month the distillery team previewed the new Stranahan’s Whiskey Lodge, an apres ski establishment where you can find fine food and exclusive whiskeys. “We’re coming back to Aspen, where I began the American single malt journey two decades ago,” said Graber in a statement. “We’ve come a long way since opening the first whiskey distillery in Colorado since Prohibition, down in Denver. Returning to the Rockies to open the Stranahan’s Whiskey Lodge is a testament to the country’s thirst for home-grown single malts.”

The menu at the lodge was created by head chef Nick Ragazzo, who has worked for more than 20 years at some James Beard-nominated restaurants, with options like Colorado lamb flatbread and whiskey-smoked wagyu brisket. The cocktail menu focuses on Stranahan’s of course, with classics like an Old Fashioned and Sazerac available as well as the tea liquor and absinthe-infused Honey, Get Well Soon. And, of course, there is plenty of Stranahan’s whiskey on tap, including the core lineup and some special releases.

To kick things off, the distillery is introducing the new Calvados Cask expression, a blend of six casks aged for eight years, with two to four of those years spent maturing in Calvados barrels from France. “The fruitiness of our single malt paired with the richness of Calvados cask finishing could not fit Stranahan’s taste profile better,” said head blender Justin Aden. “It’s the perfect union of our 100 percent barley malt, Eldorado Spring water, and a nuanced depth that only exceptionally aged Calvados could give you.” Bottles are available for $140, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the Aspen Fire Protection District.

The Stranahan’s Whiskey Lodge officially opens to the public on March 9, and will operate year-round from 12pm to 10pm every day.

Source: Robb Report

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