Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon Review

Wyoming Whiskey is the first legal distillery in Wyoming, founded in 2009 by Brad and Kate Mead and David DeFazio. Brad and Kate spend most of their time running their two ranches. So when they wanted to open a distillery, they turned to David Defazio to actually get it done for them.

Wyoming Whiskey Distillery

Small Batch Bourbon was the first whiskey they released, dating back to 2012. Yes, that’s three years after the first batch went into a barrel. The first few batches they made were from a 20-barrel release, which was sold primarily to hospitality insiders and whiskey lovers. Although the spirit had a rocky start, the quality has climbed steadily over the years. It’s improved enough that now Wyoming Whiskey is part of the Edrington portfolio—they own Macallan, Highland Park, the Famous Grouse, No. 3 London Dry Gin, and others.

 Edrington Logo and Portfolio 2022

The partnership benefits Wyoming Whiskey in many ways. That includes gaining access to the high-quality casks that Edrington’s brands are known for using. The agreement also allowed Wyoming to expand its fermentation operations and increase production.

Wyoming Whiskey distillery is based in Kirby, Wyoming (Population 72. Seriously.), and they source their grains from Big Horn Basin grains—all Wyoming-based ingredients. Although the mash bill isn’t disclosed, most experts assume it’s somewhere around 68 percent corn, 20 percent wheat, and 12 percent malted barley. The aging time is assumed to be around five years. The wheat in the mash bill is fairly uncommon, and it comes through subtly in the lingering finish of a sip.

Small Batch Bourbon’s 88 proof is intended to pay homage to the fact that Wyoming is the 44th state.

Whiskey Wyoming

1. Appearance

Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon has a medium-to-dark amber color. When you swirl it, it forms thick tears on the clean and beautiful-tasting glass.

2. Nose

Wyoming Bourbon first presents with notes of raisins, cornbread, and some floral elements. The aromas are not overpowering, but the acrid smell of alcohol sort of slams you in the face. Let this spirit decant and open up a little bit. If you do, some nicer hints of caramel, vanilla, and a faintly smoky oak will come forwards. Taste: Feel
Upon a sip, Wyoming Bourbon has a pleasant coating in the mouth, and it has a youthful vigor to it. It’s not too heavy, making it feel easier to drink. It has a bit of an astringent bite as you swallow.

3. Taste: Flavor

Sweet raisin is the predominant flavor, which continues throughout the tasting experience. The flavor is a little surprising—it’s sweeter than the nose led you to believe. Weeding through the raisins, notes of brown sugar, butter, and caramel come through. You’re transported straight into grandma’s kitchen when grandpa sat around sipping whiskey and sampling the cookies. Toasted black tea comes up for a taste-tester who is paying close attention.

The sweetness eventually evolves, bringing up flavors of chewing tobacco and burnt wood. The wood tone is interesting because that youthful vigor comes into play again. But this time it’s in the form of smoky, green oak wood, rather than charred, aged wood. The wood tones make this whiskey feel young. It’s a rustic quality that reminds you of hand-crafted cabins in the Northwoods.

4. Finish

This whiskey lingers for a while. The sweet raisins give way to those end tones of tobacco and wood. Very light hints of vanilla and spice trail behind, leaving what can only be some slight traces of floral wheat. The finish begins really well, but as the flavors fade, you’re left with a burning alcoholic feeling that you just want to wash away with another sip.

5. Overall

The Wyoming Bourbon is surprisingly sweet. The first sniff can trick you into thinking that this is going to be a gentle, somewhat floral whiskey. The flavor profile is fairly unique—it’s more “raisin” and less “honey” like a lot of other American whiskeys. Furthermore, Wyoming Bourbon can only be described as a “youthful” whiskey, with its young, smoky oak flavors and astringent qualities. For those that tend to prefer the complex peaty-salty flavors of scotch or the peppery spices of rye, this probably won’t be your top choice. Overall, at about $40, this isn’t a bad value for the money. If you tend to like American-style whiskeys that remind of you your rough wilderness and summertime spent at camp, give it a try.