1 of the major things that attracts people today to barrel-aged spirits like whiskey is the reality that you just cannot develop a whiskey in the minute. A advertising and marketing company can feasibly aspiration up and bring to market a wholly new rosé expression or unaged tequila in fewer than a 12 months. An industrious entrepreneur with adequate revenue and know-how can start a brand new gin, full with celebrity backer and social media advertising and marketing marketing campaign in a issue of months.
But with aged spirits there’s just no substitute for the passage of time. A fifteen-12 months-previous whiskey reflects conclusions made fifteen several years before it was bottled, and when several conclusions had been made along the way—blending, for occasion, has a major influence on the last product—whiskey is by its character not of-the-minute. In this perception, all whiskeys are managed experiments that evolve over time, each with an anticipated consequence but also subject matter to surprising benefits.
This is specifically correct for most American one malts, and it is just one motive bottles like Stranahan’s ten-12 months-previous Mountain Angel are so attention-grabbing correct now. Listed here we have a whiskey distilled from a hundred% malted barley and local Rocky Mountain spring h2o in Denver, CO, where Stranahan’s was launched just sixteen several years in the past. The relative youth of the distillery makes Mountain Angel the very first ten-12 months-previous one malt Stranahan’s has at any time introduced as very well as its oldest age-statement whiskey at any time. In other words and phrases, we didn’t actually know what a ten-12 months-previous one malt from Denver was able of, and now we know that it is tasty.
Distinction that with the universe of Scotch whisky, whereby a client that wishes to know what a 30-12 months-previous Glenfiddich (or even a fifty-12 months-previous Glenfiddich) preferences like can fall some revenue and find out. So several American one malt producers haven’t even been making whiskey for fifteen several years still, leaving so a lot area for exploration and so a lot for customers to glance ahead to. All that is to say that sipping a dram of anything like Mountain Angel is not just consuming but discovery, and releases like this give us each a minute to savor the existing as very well as a glimpse of what is coming.
For Mountain Angel, Stranahan’s selected to deliver a pure expression of American one malt. “We lean pretty intensely on the cask ending, and that is traditionally how we have done R&D all around here as very well, using wine barrels or rum barrels and then mixing things to obtain flavor profiles,” suggests Stranahan’s Head Distiller Owen Martin. But instead than maturing Mountain Angel in applied bourbon barrels and/or ending the liquid in a different sort of applied cask, the Stranahan’s group selected to age the whiskey entirely in new American white oak barrels, making it the very first and only American one malt to devote a full ten years in (and only in) new oak.
“It’s sort of a hallmark American whiskey,” Martin suggests of Mountain Angel’s construction— American barley, Rocky Mountain h2o, brewer’s yeast, and new American white oak. The resulting liquid is not as spicy on the nose as just one may possibly expect from just one that is spent a ten years in new oak, but instead quite mellow and malty beneath a amazingly shiny whiff of refreshing slice apples. The oak comes by a lot more prominently on the palate, with a hit of vanilla and barrel spice up front mingling with maltier darkish chocolate and caramel providing way to a peppery, oaky finish pleasantly tinged with spearmint. The longer it sits in the glass, the a lot more the malt shines by, moderating the barrel spice and mellowing the whisky in general.
Mountain Angel is readily available in restricted quantities (SRP: $130) and for that reason for a restricted time, but never expect the hits from Stranahan’s to halt at any time shortly. Mountain Angel marks the very first of what will be a new exclusive release bottling each and every 12 months likely ahead, Martin suggests. “I’m actually content with where the ten-12 months-previous is at correct now, and I think the subsequent attention-grabbing phase is likely to be seeing where we want to take a fourteen-12 months-previous or some of these other folks,” Martin suggests, referring to the assortment of aged whiskeys and cask experiments resting in Stranahan’s warehouse. “I think some cask ending can come into engage in with that perhaps.”
With U.S. regulations opening up to let age statements to replicate the full time a whiskey has been in any barrel or barrels (instead than accounting for the time spent in its preliminary barrel only), American one malts have a good deal a lot more leeway to experiment, pioneer, and surprise customers as the nascent class continues to evolve and experienced. “We’ve just had a ton a lot more alternatives opened up to us,” Martin suggests, “and that is been actually very good to see.”
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