Whiskey Review: Single Track Spirits Wheat Whiskey

Single Track Spirits Wheat WhiskeySingle Track Spirits in Cody, Wyoming, takes the term “microdistillery” to a new level. That word gets thrown around a lot in today’s whiskey landscape, with countless small (and large) businesses eager to cash in on consumers’ mania for small-batch and artisanal everything­—and all too often, it gets slapped on bottles of mass-produced MGP juice and bottled by a purveyor more interested in branding than distilling.

Not so with Single Track; this is literally a one-man operation out of a barn. Distiller Tom Pettinger, a radiologist by trade, learned distilling while living in Switzerland and Ireland, and spent years perfecting his current recipe. He uses a 250-gallon copper pot still to distill grain grown in nearby Powell, Wyoming, and signs every bottle by hand. There’s no fancy tasting room, no tenuous link to a family distilling legacy, no boasting about smoothness or boldness. Just a guy with a love of good whiskey.

The mash bill here is 93% wheat, 7% barley, and aging is for 17 months in new oak barrels. It appears that two batches have been released so far—the first labeled casks 1-6 and the second 7-11 and 14. It’s bottled at barrel strength, 115 proof in the case of the first batch, which I sampled.

Tasting notes

Appearance: deep gold with sturdy legs.

Nose: Sweet caramel and floral notes pop out first, then open up to a substantial, grainy aroma that calls to mind whole-wheat bread. A hint of spice is also present.

Palate: Mouth-filling but not sticky. Flavor-wise, I mostly notice honey and more of that grain note.

Finish: Honey predominates initially, then fades to floral tones. The finish is warm, but surprisingly unaggressive given the high proof.

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This is a skillfully made whiskey that balances complexity with drinkability. I often don’t care for high-proof whiskeys, but this one is supremely pleasant. The flavor profile calls to mind a stack of warm buckwheat pancakes drenched in wildflower honey, and it’s hard not to envision eating those pancakes on a sunny spring morning; to put it simply, this whiskey makes me happy.