The distillery puts out one or two Snowflake series batches each year, an event that results in a long line of whiskey afficionados who gather at Stranahan's hours before the release. The bottles, priced around $100, typically sell out in just a few hours.
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The latest batch, Mount Shavano Malbec, will cost $99 per bottle, and customers can buy up to three. It will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis only at the distillery. The most recent previous release was in June; the one before that was in December 2011.
"The whiskey boasts a large, rolling Malbec front, sweet raspberry and a hint of chocolate, a creamy black cherry and raw cranberry tannic medley, cinnamon, ginger and oak, leading to a light leather, dry, evaporating finish," according to tasting notes from Stranahan's head distiller Rob Dietrich, who named the batch after Mount Shavano, a 14,229-foot peak near Salida, where Dietrich was raised.
Another tasting note reads: "The deep red color of the Malbec wine enhances the warm, caramel-wood shade of the whiskey, resulting in a ruby red color with smoky maroon undertones. The nose of Snowflake Mount Shavano Malbec is of fragrant dried cherries, honey and sweet cream with a plum finish."
It is the twelfth Snowflake release. Prior editions have been aged in port, rum, syrah and cabernet barrels.