You probably didn’t know this about me, but I spent over 6 years of my life in Wyoming. My very first winter in Wyoming got down to -72 with the windchill and it’s the only time in my life I have ever heard the Emergency Broadcast System used for anything other than a test. The basic gist of the EBS message was “don’t go outside you will die”. The town was shut down for 2 days and I remember wondering what kind of miserable hell had I moved into. I lived in a little town called Green River and if you’ve ever seen The Hills Have Eyes you’ve seen where I lived, but thankfully Wyoming Whiskey isn’t from Green River. It’s from a little town several hundred miles north of Green River, in the more picturesque part of WY, called Kirby which is home to 92 people and a distillery.
Wyoming whiskey is manned by Steve Nally who spent 33 years of his career distilling for Maker’s Mark, was inducted into the Bourbon Hall of Fame in 2007 and, true to his nature, is distilling bourbon an hour or so east of Yellowstone. All of the ingredients (corn, wheat and barley) that go into the Wyoming Whiskey are sourced from inside the state and the water is pulled from a natural limestone aquifer that gives the whiskey a very unique texture and minerality. This bourbon has been aged for at least 4 years but for some reason they decided to emphasize the small batch aspect and left off the straight designation.
Wyoming Whiskey – Small Batch Bourbon Info
Region: Wyoming, USA
Distiller: Wyoming Whiskey
Cask: New charred oak
Wyoming Whiskey – Small Batch Bourbon Review
Straight out of the bottle there is an astringent herbal quality to the nose. If you give it a swirl or two and let it sit it’ll open up to a heavy caramel with hints of vanilla and oak. The oak reminds me more of a green oak and not a toasted oak. If you’ve ever tried to burn green wood while camping you’ll know what I’m talking about. The nose rounds out with maraschino cherry, raw grain and a dried wild flower like potpourri floral note.
It’s sweeter than the nose might allude to and while there is a bit of that astringent character its the caramel coated barley that comes right at you. A bit of vanilla but it’s very light, hints of young oak, a bit of orange like citrus and a mineral twinge to it. It has a very rustic quality to it that softens up with a splash of water or if it’s put on the rocks.
A little dry with a slight alkaline minerality to it but still smooth and easy to drink with very little burn.
Dusty caramel fades to soft wheat and wood. The aftertaste is the first time I can really taste the wheat in it which surprises me a bit because I find the wheat to be very pronounced in Maker’s Mark.
Unbalanced, medium body and soft feel.
In talking to one of the reps there at Wyoming Whiskey, Inc. I was told that this bourbon is just their flagship product. They’re also hard at work on a rye, a heavily ryed bourbon, are setting aside some juice they’re letting age a bit longer for various uses and they have plans for some unique experimentations. Sounds like Mr. Nally is indeed quite busy up there.
However, despite some good stuff possibly coming in the future the current (Batch 18) stuff just isn’t up-to-snuff. It starts out decent, but quickly turns into a bourbon flavored mineral water.
Wyoming Whiskey: Last Glass Update (4-17-16)
I have never had a whiskey (or whisky for that matter) turn so dramatically while drinking it. The Wyoming Whiskey started out interesting, different and oddly tasty despite it’s strange minerality. At first I found myself wanting to sit down with a glass to explore, but that quickly changed and as the months moved on and the bottle very slowly approached the 1/4 way mark that minerality changed from being interesting to overbearing and unpleasant.
Ever drink Perrier? That’s the kind of minerality I’m talking about that started to take over the Wyoming Whiskey and changed it into something wholly different than what it started out as. It became gripping and at this point has all but completely overtaken the caramel and vanilla I first found and it now tastes more like a bourbon “infused” Perrier than anything else>
FINAL VERDICT: Avoid these old batches of Wyoming Whiskey. I’ve heard decent things about batches 25+, but these older ones, especially 18, seem to be no bueno.