Since Stranahan’s Whiskey started churning out its American single-malt in 2004, the company has grown to be an important Denver institution — laying claim to the prestigious title of the first legal whiskey distillery in Colorado (since prohibition). To celebrate the release of its new Sherry Cask, the company organized an invite-only tasting dinner on the stage of Red Rocks. According to Stranahan’s, it’s the first time anyone has done a dinner like this in 12 years.

Accompanied by portable heaters, Christmas lights, a jazz quartet and even a waffle station, the multi-course meal was an outright magical way to highlight the charm and nuance of the new product. The Sherry Cask is a complex variation of its original creation — aged in Oloroso sherry casks from the Andalusia region of Spain. The decision to host the feast on the stage of the legendary amphitheater was a perfect way to celebrate the brand’s commitment to its Colorado roots — the event an unforgettable experience drenched in local pride.

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The team clearly designed the menu to play up the drinkability of the 94 proof hooch. Dishes included caramelized parsnip soup, steak with root vegetables potato gratin with sauteed mushrooms and the marvelous bordering-on-addictive ginger-infused waffle. The Sherry Cask is incredibly smooth, the dark auburn hue betraying the sherry’s influence on the already rich single-malt aged in white American oak. Crafted with care by master distiller Rob Dietrich — a rugged artisan who has been with the company since day one — the whiskey is a reflection of his years of commitment to forwarding the American spirit scene. A sipping whiskey through-and-through, the bottle is hitting shelves with a very reasonable price tag of $80.

“We tested the Oloroso Sherry cask-finished whiskey last year at our first annual Cask Thief festival and our fans and family loved it,” said Dietrich. “That’s when we knew we had to bring it to the national market. I’m really excited to add this expression to our lineup of whiskeys and help expand and showcase just how special American Single Malt whiskey is and what it can bring to the world stage.”

This Saturday, November 11 Stranahan’s will release the new whiskey to the public from 4 to 8 p.m. at the distillery. If you RSVP you’ll get free entry, samples of the new whiskey and light appetizers. Go here to reserve a spot. 

READ: We Tried It — Bottling Whiskey at Stranahan’s

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All photography by Alden Bonecutter.