In a recent collaboration, Stranahan’s Colorado Whisky joined the Sanborn Canoe Co. to custom build bespoke canoes out of Stranahan’s whiskey barrels.
A statement from the distiller noted that the Merrimack + Stranahan’s Blue Peak Canoe utilizes every part of the barrel, from the staves, to the lids, to the metal hoops.
Sanborn uses the whiskey barrel parts to recreate their best-selling 14’6” Tennessean Tandem/Solo, a canoe that’s an all-around classic model. It features two seats and weighs 46 pounds, a straightforward transfer in and out of the water, whether solo or as a pair.
The canoe makers explained that Sanborn merged Stranahan’s whiskey staves with cedar strips to create wilderness canoe paddles, which are then hand-shaped before receiving the same resin and fiberglass treatment used in the other canoe parts.
To prepare the barrel’s wood, Sanborn starts by pulling the barrel apart, draining any remaining whiskey and drying out the staves. Once dry, the staves are steamed for about an hour to straighten them out.
The staves are then clamped and flattened out. And by the next day, they’re straightened oak boards. The char is then cut off. Exposed surfaces are coated in resin until smooth, then the structural pieces are reinforced with fiberglass. Even the seats are made from the barrel staves.
The lids of Stranahan’s barrels become the deck plates. The metal hoops that hold the whiskey barrel together become the end caps of the canoe, and act as loops to connect the brass rings to the end of the canoe for tie-down purposes.
The Merrimack + Stranahan’s Blue Peak Canoe is now available for made-to-order purchase online at www.sanborncanoe.com, and it has a retail price of $5,845. There’s a 6-8 week lead time until they’re ready for pickup or delivery.
The canoes can be picked up at the Sanborn Canoe Co. location in Winona, Minnesota, or they can be delivered for an additional fee. Limited-edition Stranahan’s Paddles will be available for $270.