Drink up and be somebody: Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, brewed in a Denver micro-distillery, has been named “2009 Artisan Whisky of the Year” by the worldwide Malt Advocate Whisky awards, the oldest such honor available.

That’s according to a Stranahan’s press release, which points to a recent post on the Malt Advocate blog. Stranahan’s won points for its smoothness and even sweetness, “an example of the right way to do artisan distilling.”

The whiskey is made at 220 S. Kalamath St. in Denver, and Colorado Coffee Merchants owner Eric Umenhofer is among its many fans. He recently picked up on a cue from beer brewers who use whiskey and wine barrels to extract extra flavors for their brews. Umenhofer decided to experiment with his coffee, putting it in a Stranahan’s whiskey barrel, reports the Colorado Springs Independent.

Local distilleries are gaining ground in the liquor market, as Jennie Dorris points out in a December 2009 article for the magazine.