In the realm of craft-distillery whiskey brands, it is sometimes difficult to find a brand offering a product distilled by the brand, aged in large format barrels (meaning the common 53 gallon bourbon barrel), and aged for more than a year. So, it is rather surprising to find a privately owned distillery in Kirby, Wyoming (population under 100) offering bourbon that meets all the aforementioned criteria.
To get the first distillery in Wyoming off the ground, the founders of Wyoming Whiskey recruited Steve Nally, a 33-year veteran of Maker’s Mark. The connection to Maker’s Mark certainly shows through, as Wyoming Whiskey uses a wheated bourbon mash bill.
Undoubtedly, Nally’s experience in a large distillery helped guide Wyoming Whiskey in aging and bottling their bourbon. Unlike some craft distilleries, Wyoming Whiskey opted for the standard 53 gallon barrel, and their bourbon is said to be at least five years old.
To make a unique whiskey that embodies the state of Wyoming, Wyoming Whiskey uses only Wyoming grown and non-GMO corn, wheat, and barley. In addition, the distillery uses water from a limestone aquifer in Wyoming. The subject of this review is Wyoming Whiskey Single Barrel Bourbon. But, we have previously reviewed their small batch offering, and an American whiskey offering is in the works.
Wyoming Whiskey (image via Whitney Harrod Morris/The Whiskey Wash)
Tasting Notes: Wyoming Whiskey Single Barrel Bourbon
Vital Stats: As described above, Wyoming Whiskey Single Barrel is non-age stated, but appears to be at least five years old. The bourbon is bottled at 88 proof. In addition, the mash bill consists of 68% corn, 20% wheat, and 12% malted barley, and, notably, Wyoming Whiskey uses two types of yeast in fermentation. For this review, the barrel number is 841.
Appearance: Wyoming Whiskey Single Barrel appears honey-caramel in the glass with weak legs. Given the approximate age, the color seems a touch on the lighter end of the spectrum as compared to other similarly aged bourbons, which may be due to aging in Wyoming.
Nose: Strong earthy and nutty notes dominate the aroma, with light hints of the classic bourbon notes like butterscotch and vanilla. Overall, the nose is pretty light and simple.
Palate: Cereal grains jump out on the front with the first drink, along with light notes of citrus and brown sugar. The finish lingers for a moderate duration and has herbal, slightly bitter notes that overtake the sweeter notes of the front-palate.
Wyoming Whiskey Single Barrel Bourbon is a nice addition to the lineup for Wyoming Whiskey. For a craft distiller, the apparent age of the whiskey and the use of large format barrels puts the Wyoming Whiskey Single Barrel Bourbon a step above many of the other craft bourbon labels available. However, the light flavor left me thinking that a higher proof would have been welcomed.