Sitdown with Jake Norris of Stranahan’s

Recently Denver’s beloved Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey (SCW) distillery entered into a deal with Proximo spirits company.  This move has caused a great deal of distress for many fans of the whiskey.  I was recently able to pick the brain of head distiller Jake Norris in order to lay to rest some of the rumors that have been circulating. Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey

Bess: How long have you been with Stranahan’s and what does the company mean to you?

Jake: I have been here since the beginning.  I made the first batch and I am making a batch right now.  It is my baby.

Bess: What details can you divulge about the Proximo deal?

Jake: Proximo has partnered with us to grow Stranahan’s, they have the resources and capital to really grow Stranahan’s.  Not much to tell other than that.  No secrets or anything, just regular business.

Bess: There are rumors that you will move the distillery out of Denver or change the focus or quality of the product. What say you?

Jake:  That is not happening.  They have committed to preserve the quality and integrity of Stranahan’s.  We have no plans on moving or changing anything about Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, except make more of it. Rumors are a crazy thing, I have heard a lot of bizzare stuff coming back and none of it is true.  Proximo recognized the value in what we have created here and wanted to be a part of it.  They would be insane to buy us and then change the whiskey.  All of the plans I have been a part of are focused on keeping the whiskey exactly as it is today, just make a lot more of it.  I suppose eventually somethings will have to change, like the handwritten labels and the volunteer bottling, but that is an inevitability.  There is no way I can hand write thousands of labels every month indefinitely.  There is a natural organic growth to all businesses, and if you worked on a bottling crew or purchased a handwritten bottle you can say, ” I remember back when they first started and…”  People need to remember that the only constant is change.  Nothing stays the same forever.  It was hard for me to adjust to when the deal first happened, but It is the natural process of things.

Bess: Who will be in control of the distillery after the deal?

Jake: The deal is done, it was final in December, Proximo owns SCW but I am still in charge of production.

Bess: Will this mean any changes for the consumers?

Jake: It should not really effect the consumer at all, other than the fact that we will be making more whiskey so it does not sell out as quickly at the local liquor store.

I wish to extend a huge thanks to Jake for taking the time to answer my questions and for making amazing whiskey!  Cheers!

About Bess Dougherty


Bess Dougherty's life revolves around hooch. By day she has the pleasure of making beer. At night this dame can often be found sipping whiskey and beer around town. This bearcat is also an avid homebrewer. Yar.