Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Wyoming Whiskey. 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.
Wyoming Whiskey started on single barrels. Before its bourbon was ever on a shelf, the founders sold 20 barrels of their first release to hospitality insiders and private whiskey lovers (incidentally, not a single drop made it out of Wyoming, at least on paper). Now they’re back with another of their much-anticipated selections. If the numbers mean anything, there is quite a demand for their unblended product.
The distillery is based in tiny Kirby, Wyoming, and crafts their products from Big Horn Basin grains. Each single barrel is seen as a time capsule, recording the hot hot summers and deeply cold winters of its journey.
The company’s start was a little uneven, perhaps cowing to consumer pressure and releasing its flagship bourbon at three years after it went in barrel. The outfit was the first post-Prohibition legal distillery in the state when it opened, and even then-distiller Steve Nally didn’t know how long it would take for whiskey to be ready there. Some were disappointed with its quality, but that quality has largely continued to climb in the years since. The brand’s status advanced so far that in 2018, it became part of the Edrington portfolio.
The strategic partnership took nearly two years to coalesce. Edrington are known as experts in wood science, extensively using finishing casks in their Glenrothes, Highland Park, and Macallan brands. The agreement also allowed Wyoming Whiskey to expand their fermentation operation and increase overall production of their core product, Outryder.
What does this particular time capsule hold? Let’s take a few sips and see.
Tasting Notes: Wyoming Whiskey Single Barrel Bourbon #5788
Vital stats: 96 proof, made from an undisclosed mash bill (though one could reasonably assume it’s 68% corn, 20% wheat and 12% malted barley, as they’ve been known to make) and aged an undisclosed length of time (though other single barrels have been at least five years). Find a 750mL for a limited time in some 32 states for $99.
Appearance: This liquid is a very clear amber that slowly forms thick tears.
Nose: Fragrant like pecan pie, heavy on the vanilla extract – you can almost feel the oven warmth. Sweet hay wafts through on a wave of ethanol.
Palate: On the palate it’s sweet, syrupy strong bourbon with lots of barrel character: not the height of nuance but archetypal. Agave nectar on the attack, followed by that big, round vanilla bomb. Toasted black tea lingers on the mid-palate. This whiskey is relatively smooth with a bit of bite, and fairly well-integrated alcohol.
Final thoughts: It’s often the way that single barrels are better than mainline products. After all, why highlight a barrel that’s just so-so (everyone knows those are for blending!)? In this case, the selection didn’t blow me away, it’s solid just like many of their other offerings. It’s a decent whiskey, it’s rare by design, and – if reports are to be believed – exceptionally hard to get your hands on. So, if you do, enjoy it.
User Review2.5 (4 votes)
In 2014 I founded Portland Bitters Project with the vision to create the best bitters on the market. Now our bitters are enjoyed around the country and internationally to make expressive, delicious cocktails. I teach at two Portland colleges and visit private groups, distilleries and maker's spaces to spread the...