As some know, Dry Fly Distilling is probably my favorite distillery brand. Not only do they have excellent marketing, friendly staff, and a great love for distilling; they also have some amazing products coming out. Check out Lance Mayhew’s review of their most recent release: Washington Wheat Whiskey. And while your at it, check out Lance’s personal blog.
Jan 8 2010
When Dry Fly Distilling began operations in 2007 in Spokane Washington, no one knew quite what to expect. Washington state had some of the toughest regulations in the country for craft distillers. Spokane was better known for Gonzaga basketball than the culinary charms of its more urbane neighbors Seattle and Portland and the decision to use only locally grown grains and botanicals in their products made some wonder whether Dry Fly could be priced competitively in the market. Now, entering its third year of production, and featuring award-winning vodka and gin, owners Kent Fleishmann and Don Poffenroth have begun releasing some of their wheat whiskey. Dry Fly whiskey is extremely hard to find and has very limited production so far, with just two batches being released to consumers. I recently had the opportunity to try Dry Fly’s 100% Washington wheat whiskey, and I highly recommend it. Distilled in a Christian Carl pot still to 120 proof (60% alcohol by volume), this whiskey then spent 18 months in new American oak casks. Both runs of approximately 1500 bottles were cut to 80 proof (40% abv) and hand bottled.
At first appearance, this whiskey shines bright like a freshly polished copper penny. On the nose, it was slightly spicy and a bit hotter than I expected a whiskey at 80 proof to be. After a bit of time, the nose revealed big caramel tones, with hints of butterscotch pudding, tangerines, almonds, tupelo honey and hay. On the palate, neat this whiskey was very soft, almost like a baby’s blanket caressing my tongue, with freshly baked orange scones, cinnamon toast, white pepper and peppermint notes. When I added a splash of water, this whiskey became even softer, with ripe peaches, spice cake, Juicy Fruit gum and grassy notes. The whiskey had a finish of 25 to 30 seconds, taken neat the finish was heavy on cinnamon, caramel and spice notes while with water this whiskey slowly disappeared with teasers of caramel, nectarines, peaches and mint. My only criticism of this whiskey is that I’m curious to see what this would taste like at a higher proof. I think that if this was 90 or 100 proof versus the current 80 proof it would probably get my top recommendation rating.
With this whiskey and their award-winning gin and vodka, Dry Fly has established itself as one of the premier American artisan distillers and established conclusively that great distilled spirits are here to stay in Spokane Washington.At $42 a bottle and only distributed in Washington state, this whiskey may take some time to find, but if you do, your patience will be richly rewarded when you taste Dry Fly’s wheat whiskey. Highly Recommended.