Kentucky is the birthplace of Bourbon and has been the leading producer of Bourbon for centuries, by a long shot, too. However, the 21st century has seen a growth of craft distilleries, and an expansion of distilleries outside of the bourbon trail. Some of our favorite whiskey hails from Colorado, Texas, Maryland, Tennessee, and other states. Today, we are reviewing Wyoming Whiskey to see how it compares to all the other bourbons out there.
In our Wyoming Whiskey review we’re going to cover some of the history and distilling practices of Wyoming Whiskey, and then we’ll touch on some more specific and critical info. Is it any good? How much does it cost? Is it worth buying? Let’s find out.
Wyoming Whiskey History
Wyoming Whiskey was founded in 2006 by Brad and Kate Mead and David Defazio. The Mead family has been in Wyoming for over 120 years, primarily raising cattle and hay in Kirby, Wyoming. Production of whiskey began in 2009, making Wyoming Whiskey the first legal, operating distillery in the state.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about WW is the city that it’s from – Kirby. Kirby, Wyoming has a population of ~75 people, so when they say they know the people that are growing their grains, then they do.
Wyoming Whiskey Overview
- Spirit: Small Batch Bourbon
- Owned By: Brad & Kate Mead
- Distilled By: Wyoming Whiskey
- Aged: 5 Years
- ABV: 44% ABV, 88 proof
- Mashbill: 68% corn, 20% wheat, 12% malted barley
- Price: $40
- Batch #: 97
Let’s start with the mashbill. Wheat is often an overlooked grain, especially know with the huge growth of rye. Rye and barley are, typically, the two most used grains in a bourbon mash with the exception of four-grain bourbon (a mash that uses corn, wheat, rye, and barley). However, with Wyoming Whiskey, the accent grain, or 2nd most prevalent grain in the mash, is wheat. Maker’s Mark is an example of a wheated bourbon.
I believe in the previous years, WW was a NAS (no age statement) whiskey, meaning that the whiskey in the bottle had been aged a minimum of 4 years. Currently, the bottle dons a 5-year age statement, though.
What is Small Batch Bourbon?
Small batch is a term used in whiskey that refers to the number of barrels used to produce a whiskey. For example, some of the larger whiskey producers may blend 200 barrels of whiskey together in order to create a consistent flavor profile among all their bottles.
A small batch bourbon may only blend a couple premium barrels together. This creates more diversity in taste and profile from batch to batch. There is no exact number of barrels that need to be used in order to claim the ‘small batch’ title, but most often it is around ~10 barrels.
Wyoming Whiskey Price
Wyoming Whiskey costs about $40 at Total Wine, although I’ve seen it priced anywhere from $35-48. When it comes to buying a $40 whiskey, we’re really looking for it to be a good sipping whiskey, as well as make a nice cocktail. Let’s get to that next.
Wyoming Whiskey Flavor Profile
Alright, we’ve covered the basics. Let’s find out about the stuff that actually goes in your glass.
Nose: Nothing too crazy going on here. Leather and vanilla/caramel are the most prominent off the nose. There’s a little bit of greenness to it as well, with some cinnamon spice.
Palate: I’m getting some cherry and walnut on the palate with a sweet vanilla. Going back to the nose, I can see a touch of it there, too. There’s still a greenness to it too.
Finish: An herbal pepper hits fairly strong and leads way to a nutty finish.
I want to preface something. I am at the tail end of the flu or general cold, so I’m still a little stuffed up and am trying fairly small sips here. However, I must say I’m not a huge fan of Wyoming Whiskey. The mouthfeel isn’t great, but it’s not bad either. Then, the flavors kind of clash. Herbal pepper, cherry, walnut, cinnamon, vanilla… It’s all there, but the sum isn’t greater than the parts in this case.
I added some ice and things only got worse. That herbaceous quality only became more prominent.
All in all, I’d say Wyoming Whiskey isn’t bad, but also not very good. The high wheat percentage does allow for a comparison to Maker’s Mark.
I’m a little disappointed because there is a little buzz around Wyoming Whiskey with it being the first distillery in Wyoming. They’re ranchers who threw up a distillery in the middle of nowhere and source local grains. That’s awesome, and I want to like them, and I’m going to root for them, but this wasn’t it.
I eventually poured it with coke, and yeah, it’s fine. Coke is going to overpower about anything, though. If you like Maker’s Mark or other wheated whiskey, I think WW will be a let down. I’d much prefer to spend $25ish on Maker’s if I’m going to make a whiskey coke. I prefer Maker’s neat, too.
If you want to try Wyoming Whiskey, start with a 50ml shooter or a drink at a bar.
It’s important to keep in mind that this is their base flagship whiskey, so perhaps some of their single barrel, double cask, or special release options are better.
Wyoming Whiskey Summary
There’s nothing to dislike about Wyoming Whiskey except the actual whiskey, which is unfortunate because that’s the most important part!
I’ll try some more releases of Wyoming Whiskey, but next time I’ll be sure to try it at a bar. Your $40 is likely better spent on a different bottle.