This is a Stranahan's Single Barrel Cask Strength pick by Red Dog Wine and Spirits in Franklin, TN. Stranahan's is an American single malt based in Denver. This bottle is 112 proof and comes from barrel #16-1466. The guys at Red Dog generally do an outstanding job with their store picks so I'm hoping this is no different. Neat in a Glencairn.
Nose: Yes it's Stranahan's all right. Having had their standard single malt, this is very similar, just turned up a notch. I can't imagine this is all that old. Very malty, with a cereal-like aroma. This is accompanied by some strawberries and rhubarb. I guess it's from the Midwest so rhubarb had to come in somewhere haha. This is a very clean nose, very malty with a light, fruity sweetness. High-pitched as on would say. Good strength of flavors while still being "light" aromas if that makes sense.
Palate: Wow, crank it up to 11 why don't ya? Double-bubble gum, bright strawberry and rhubarb explode onto the palate alongside a very prominent malt base. The underlying base spirit is really allowed to shine in this and in a good way. There is also a slight hint of lime interestingly and oddly enough. Again, very clean and high-pitched. Bright is the word.
Finish: Finally a bit of oaky spice shows up. Things dwindle slowly and the lime is more prominent than it was on the palate and the rhubarb and strawberry take more of a back seat. Lingering finish.
Overall: What a pleasant surprise. I think the standard Stranahan's is just OK, but this is very good. It is bright, and the underlying spirit really shines through. I can't imagine this is any older than 3 or 4 years in light charred oak. For $43.99 would for sure recommend. I bought all 3 bottles they had left, unfortunately none are staying with me as they are all claimed by friends who were nice enough to allow me a big sample for acting as the mule.