Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Dry Land Distillers. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
In Longmont Colorado just a short drive from Denver is an up and coming distillery using some unconventional ingredients to make award winning spirits. Dry Land Distillery was founded in 2018 by long time home brewers Aaron Main and Nels Wroe along with their go-to taste tester Marc Statts. Main took home many a gold medal for his home brewed beer before founding Dry Land.
When the time came to open their own distillery the team focused heavily on highlighting the use of native ingredients. Dry Land uses local grains to celebrate the flavors of the American West. They are one of only a few distilleries in the country producing a 100% single grain American whiskey.
For their Heirloom Wheat expression the distillery notes of it that it is “distilled from an ancient grain grown in the middle of the parched lands of the American west. We’re the only distiller in the country distilling the grain, and we create a single malt, single barrel 100% American wheat whiskey unlike any other. It is gently aged in light-to-medium charred new American oak barrels.”
By using nothing but heirloom wheat they produce a whiskey that is authentically and distinctly of Colorado. Dry Land takes no shortcuts in their grain to glass approach and it has paid off. In their short time on the scene they have taken home several awards for their inventive spirits. In 2020 they won Colorado Craft Distiller of The Year and their Antero Wheat Whiskey won a Bronze medal at the 2019 Denver International Spirits Competition.
Dry Land Heirloom Wheat is bottled at 83 proof and available at select retailers around Colorado for around $65 per 750ml bottle.
Tasting Notes: Dry Land Distillers Heirloom Wheat
Vital Stats: 83 proof (41.5% ABV) Mash Bill: 100% American Heirloom Wheat
Appearance: Yellow Gold
Nose: The heavy aroma of freshly baked bread is immediately noted. Soothing and warm vanilla, caramel and burned brown sugar arrive on the nose like a late summer apple pie.
Palate: The flavors of salted caramel, cake batter and bergamot stand out. A chewy mouthfeel gives the cheeks a buttery coating. It is light and reminiscent of a Japanese single malt with a quick and light briny finish.
This whiskey was definitely made for sipping. It is beautifully light and well balanced with all of the warm wheat flavors you want and none you’d do without. This is the closest I’ve tasted to the Yamazaki 12 year which is a popular Japanese single malt and one of my personal favorites. This however, is about half the price. If I lived in Colorado I’d be stocking up on this and ordering it at my favorite bar whenever I got the chance.
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Faith Raspante is a freelance writer and bartender based in Portland, Oregon. A love of craft cocktails and creative mixology led Faith to discover the nuanced pleasure of tasting whiskey and other spirits. When she isn’t behind the bar or in front of a laptop she enjoys boating, home improvement...