Fans flock to Denver’s Stranahan’s for seasonal ‘Snowflake Whiskey’

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DENVER — Every year for more than a decade, whiskey lovers have waited for the once-in-a-lifetime version of Stranahan’s Snowflake Whiskey.

The distillery releases a different version of the drink this time every year, and people from all over wait for days just to get a bottle.

Like most December days, Saturday started cold and crisp. The line of people outside Stranahan’s was hoping the whiskey inside would soothe the deep freeze they were feeling.

Dozens of people waited outside for hours to get the maximum two bottles of Stranahan’s Snowflake Whiskey, a unique creation each year.

“We got here about 1:45, 2 a.m. today,” said Chris Salinas, who was waiting in line.

Another person waiting, Russel Cowdin, said he had been camped out at the south Denver distillery for an entire week.

“Came out last Saturday, and this is how I spend my vacation,” Cowdin said. “This is when I go camping: I go camping on a sidewalk, half a block from I-25 in Denver, in winter.”

The Snowflake started in 2007.

“It always starts out with our American single malt whiskey,” distiller Rob Dietrich said.

In nature, no two snowflakes are alike, and that goes for these editions of whiskey, too.

“We want to create something that’s completely unique and really one of a kind,” Dietrich said.

They are only sold for one day, and this year Stranahan’s is only selling 1,500 bottles.

Everyone we talked to said it’s about more than whiskey.

“I told somebody the other day, I said, ‘Listen, think about the longest, funnest tailgate, you’ve ever been on. And you know, that’s what this is,'” Mike Kirchhoff said.

“It is good whiskey, but it’s also an experience,” Nathan Evans said.

People we talked in the line were from Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois.

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