UPDATE 2/1/12: Stranahan’s new Master Distiller Rob Dietrich dropped us a note in the comments below, ensuring us that all is well at Stranahans. We hope so! We were so impressed with Rob’s words, that we gave him his own post!
There are changes happening at Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, and I’m afraid we may be witnessing the evisceration of a micro distillery pioneer. As I discussed before Stranahan’s had been acquired by Proximo Beverage, a huge multinational conglomerate that was promising to take Stranahan’s global (at least I would get it back here in Idaho again). Not long after the two owners took a powder. Suppose they didn’t like the new philosophies that a new owner brings to the scene. Well that was ok, at least they still had their Master Distiller. Afterall he is in charge of production, so who cares who owns the place, right?
Well that all changed a couple weeks ago when Master Distiller Jake Norris said goodbye to Strananhan’s Colorado Whiskey. I guess as the saying goes, crap flows down hill and he didn’t need or want it. So now we are left with new ownership, a new Master Distiller, Rob Dietrich who previously worked for Jake. The plant manager assures us that nothing will change, they will still use the same recipes, etc, but you can taste a man’s soul in a bottle of whiskey, and Jake had a good one. Now I’m not saying all hope is lost and we should turn out the lights and close the door, but the jury is still way out on what Rob Dietrich might produce, and we could see something worse. Conversely, we could see something better too.
Whiskey people don’t like change, because change might end up cheapening or somehow making their favorite whiskeys worse for the wear. But one thing is certain, things are changing at Stranahan’s and it doesn’t look too good right now. Let’s hope Mr Dietrich knows his stuff, and Stranahan’s will continue to make Colorado and the Micro distillery movement proud.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.