This is how awesome my job is: I exchange booze bottles with my boss. Years of touring in Denver (where I have perhaps my most devoted fan base after the homeland) has turned me on to Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey, a fine example of Rocky Mountain booze. And years of talking to me has expanded my jefe's horizons beyond the Old Fashioneds and Sazeracs of his youth and into the realm of other, newer concoctions. When we meet, we talk shop, then booze. It was during one of those conversations, in San Francisco a couple of years ago, where we discovered we're both fans of Fernet Branca–and anyone who favors the digestif is a mensch already.
Earlier this year, he asked about the Fernet Vallet I wrote up. I sensed an opportunity: I went to Hi-Times in Costa Mesa and had a bottle of the Mexican Fernet shipped his way. In return, my boss sent a bottle of Stranahan's straight from corporate to Weekly World Headquarters. Did I fail to mention I have one of the best bosses on Earth?
Stranahan's profile is bright, spicy, bold–at 94 proof, it has to be. There's a bit of toastiness and sweetness at the back end, and the consistency is somewhere between Jameson and Maker's–just the slightest bit thick, but smooth. It's more for sipping than cocktails, although I'm sure it could make a mean Manhattan in a pinch. The booze is so popular in Denver that almost all the bars, whether high-falutin' or working-class, stock it. And it's that demand that keeps Stranahan's from expanding too fast–they're currently offered only in Colorado. Hey, Hi-Times: do your favorite Mexican a favor and ask Stranahan's to ship you a case or 40, ¿que no?