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Wyoming Whiskey Private Stock Bourbon

 

$49.99 $19.99

There is very, very little reason to visit Kirby, Wyoming – population 93, 16 square blocks – but there is one dang fine one: craft whiskey.

Now most craft whiskies on the market are daring projects, and I encourage every one of them that I meet.  But (for cash flow reasons, not for lack of skill or desire) they are often made from sourced spirit, sourced grains, bought barrels, and released exceptionally young.

But not this one.  Wyoming Whiskey 100% craft – the grains, the water, the barrels, and the spirit are all their own, nothing bought or sourced.  And then the whiskey is aged – six years on this baby.  And it is exceptional.  Here are the technicalities (and technical they are, but worth the taste):

Kirby is surrounded by an ocean of non-GMO corn, wheat and malt barley.  You’ve heard the song about where buffalo roam?  This where they roam – in some of the most unadulterated land of the West

The mash bill of this whiskey is 68% corn, 20% winter wheat, and 12% malted barley, all from the same organic farmer.  That blend means the whiskey is a wheater, the most common wheater on the market being Maker’s Mark.  Wheaters offer soft, supple palates, low on aggressive spice; strong and smooth on vanilla and honey.  Winter wheat is softer still, having partially lignated on the stem, further softening what would be atannic bite into a mellow richness.  The barley is there to add complexity, give lift and dexterity to the palate, and balance the alcohol (more on the alcohol in a second).

Any whiskey’s main component is water, so the source and quality of the water matters.  Wyoming Whiskey’s sole water source is a 6,000-year-old limestone aquifer holding water that hasn’t seen the light of day for 60 centuries.  This is the kind of water that European water companies want to drill and bottle straightaway because it’s so pure.  Each spirit run consists of 1,499 gallons of this water and 667 gallons of backset.

And of course, there is a human element.  The owners of Wyoming Whiskey told me that when they started, they got the best possible equipment – a 38-foot-tall Vendome copper still.  If you haven’t heard of Vendome, not to worry: Nobody has, except master distillers in Kentucky.  Vendome is a family-owned, custom manfacturer of stills that has been in business for over century.  If you want the best, you go to them.  Wyoming Whiskey’s distiller for the first seven years was Steve Nally, longtime master distiller at Maker’s Mark. He passed the reins onto Sam DeFazio (son of the owner) and together, they have a legacy of exceptional spirit:

The color is a dark amber like an old cherry wood cabinet that has only been polished by hand oil.  The nose opens with an almost red fruit smell of raspberries and black currants, but then is quickly taken over by dried apricot, saffron, vanilla bean and pine nuts caramelized in sugar on a graham cracker crust.  The palate continues with baking spices: brown butter and cinnamon, toffee, ginger and hazelnut.  The finish is lingering and subtle, like a kiss at sunset.

Here it is, the real deal.  I was impressed enough I bought my own barrel at cask strength.  If you are going to drink it straight, the crushed and strained ice will bring it down to perfect temperature and alcoholic strength.  If you’re going to mix it, the strength gives the perfect backbone to any cocktail.  So not only is it the real deal, it’s a heck of a deal.  We got one single barrel, it’s our own private stock, and this barrel will never come around again.  Don’t miss it.

 

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