American Adventures – Stranahan’s Original 47%

Sometimes an opportunity comes along to try something we would not ordinarily find in Asia courtesy of one of the Whisky Ladies many malt mules! This bottle came from Colorado, completely at the recommendation of our mule from Denver.

Stranahan’s make small batch American single malt. We sampled the ‘Original’ and had no idea what to expect though quite liked the long bottle with its own measure / shot glass. Made us suspect it may best go in cocktails and knocked back… game to try, we opened our bottle.


Stranahan’s (circa 2016) Batch No 182, Bottle No 0796, 47%

  • Nose – Harsh, sharp, raw, a sickly sweet, cinnamon
  • Palate – Tastes better than it smelled, quite vegetal with a bit of compost, oddly flat
  • Finish – Bitter

A few comments included “Well that’s sinus clearing!” and so flat that one said “I’m gonna get my tires changed!”

Jokes aside, it wasn’t that bad but it definitely isn’t in our ‘single malt’ category. It either needed stupendously more time or a better barrel or… ah heck. It simply is what it is.

And that is half the fun of whisk(e)y explorations… you find some that may not quite make the mark on a personal palate level… and then you find a few you would never have expected that make you go wow! You simply do not know til you try…

And sometimes try again in a different setting – which is exactly what I did!

Except this time, a purely social setting, with a cube of ice and generous splash of water. Not my normal way to have a whisky but it is hot in Mumbai these days and seemed appropriate.

And guess what? I was a great choice for the evening! Not harsh, just enough ‘oomph’ and character to be interesting without being distracting. In short, quite enjoyable… go figure!

Here is what the folks over at Stranahan’s have to say:

Hints of caramel, vanilla, dark chocolate and fresh-sawn oak are just a few of the notes that resonate in each batch. These steadfast characteristics embody the unique character, flavor and style of the original Stranahan’s whiskey.

Here’s what others have to say:

Other whiskies sampled in our American evening included:

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Whisky Ladies go on an American Adventure…

This wasn’t our first flirtation with American whiskies… nope we had an earlier evening combining some whisky standards in cocktails. However that night there was only one American single malt (Hudson).

For this evening, we planned three whiskies which somehow morphed into five bottles and a jar – funny how that happens with these ladies!


In this case we managed to get our hands on:

The Whisky Ladies debated the whisky tasting order for our American adventures and finally decided to split the evening between single malts – moonshine – bourbons.

Then came the question of which whisky to start our evening off with… given Pine Barrens is known for being geared towards beer drinkers, we thought it a rather fitting start!

From there we moved on to Colorado’s Stranahan’s which… ahem… reminded us why we don’t tend to be big American whisky fans.

Followed by the lovely Westland Sherry which reminded us to stop being such whisky snobs and simply enjoy a good dram!

Break time with the Ole Smoky – dutifully drunk straight from the jar. It felt like we were channeling our inner “Mellie” Grant with her moonshine stashes all over the White House (Scandal).

Then we cracked open the AD Laws Four Grain Straight Bourbon, pronouncing it rather yummy, partly as it isn’t a typical bourbon.

And finally closed our evening with a proper bourbon – the Woodford Reserve.

Other American adventures:

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