Time does change many things, but here is to hoping that time won’t change a thing about Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. There have been a lot of internal changes taking place at Stranahan’s. A while back they were bought out by a multi-national conglomerate in the spirits industry called Proximo Beverage. Then they contracted into just Colorado, and people wanted to know what was going on. Then what seemed quite foreboding was the resignation of their Master Distiller Jake Norris. Who was going to make the whiskey? What was going to happen to this home grown distillery? Were we headed down a bad path? I put my fears out there in a couple of posts. First I talked about their take over here. Then I talked in much darker terms about the take over here, after Jake resigned.
So Sunday a ray of hope was posted to the blog which I just have to share. I got this rather lengthy comment from new Master Distiller Rob Dietrich. It sounds like things are back on track, and perhaps better with the financial backing of Proximo. I’ll let you be the judge.
Glad to see the passion and support still burning brightly for this fine whiskey.
I had some big (gigantic!)shoes to fill when Jake left the building, and tossed and turned many a night as to what the future would bring with the new ownership and what my role in this wood-soaked saga would really be.
I cut my teeth in the industry on Jake’s watch, hired on as the first night distiller and midnight ninja (which required BB gun sniper skills (mice), multi-tasking (sleeping on a cot next to the still with my dog on fireman’s hours, while maintaining the stills) and the random requisitions,(Flying dog Brewery beer leftovers) while learning much from him and experimenting on my own as well. I couldn’t have picked a better time, place or person to learn this craft.
The gist of it is, this whiskey sells itself. It’s freakin’ amazing. I love it. I would never change it.
Pioneers before me created a masterpiece; my job as the current steward is to maintain its beauty.
That being said; yeah, the times, they are a changin’-as they always do, whether we like it or not. The building is being renovated, production being first in line (thank you Jebus, for more clamps, valves and hoses!) and what we are doing is making more whiskey, faster.
An oxymoron, I know.
But it boils down to this: More fermenters, more stills, more barrels. The recipe doesn’t change, the aging doesn’t change, we just make more-which is a good thing.
My apologies to the outer states-we’re only distributing in Colorado right now, with good standing that we will distribute nation-wide once again when we can catch up with aging.
So, that being said…
Before the torch of head distiller was passed, I was the barrel manager. Not an unpleasant job…but, as I was fond of saying and still say; I’m always living in the past, present and future.
What was barreled in the past, affects our present. What is barreled now, affects our future. What we currently harvest, affects everything.
I am so VERY careful as to how that turns out- because I love whiskey as much as all of you…and I fucking love THIS whiskey.
I still have beers with Jake every week, if I can. I still sit at my local when I can and I don’t always drink what I make. I love what I do, I drink to my mood, but generally it’s whiskey and it’s usually THIS whiskey. Can’t help it-I’ve grown accustomed to its face.
I wax poetic and long. My apologies, but can’t help it; I’m old school and don’t blog. I write letters with a typewriter, work on my own cars, make my own liquor; I’m a combat veteran and generally stay away from people. I’m still getting used to it all.
Thanks for staying strong, for being patient and I will do my best to get to you the finest malt-barley whiskey this side of the wide Mississippi.
I think with a guy like Rob at the helm, Stranahan’s will remain a strong brand and moreover continue to make great whiskey for a long time to come. Thanks Rob.