When you think of whiskey production, you probably think of Kentucky. That’s only natural, considering that although whiskey can be made anywhere in the United States, almost all of it comes from Kentucky. Many bourbon distillers think Kentucky is king of whiskey because they have iron-free water that gets filtered through high concentrations of limestone, which is unique to the area.
But now, there’s Wyoming. Yes, the state with the smallest population that many people forget about.
The Wyoming Whiskey distillery revealed the state’s first homegrown bourbon last week and in a community that is normally home to 100 people, more than 3,000 showed up to celebrate. They started production on July 4, 2009 and their first release of less than 20,000 bottles has pretty much sold out. Only about 75 retailers in the entire state got any of the first batch.
The creators of the whiskey knew they’d do well with the local crowd, but they really wanted to make something that could stand the test of time and potentially become a national brand. It’s already getting good buzz from whiskey aficionados, like bourbon journalist Mark Gillespie who praised the flavors and aromas of wheat bread, orange peel, oak, honey, and vanilla. On his podcast, he told his listeners “It is one of the best bourbons I’ve ever tasted, and I’m scoring Wyoming Whiskey a 95 out of 100 points.”
There are many factors that go into a successful whiskey, but it doesn’t hurt to have Steve Nally on board as the master distiller. He is a 2007 Bourbon Hall of Fame member and he had a long career at Maker’s Mark before he moved to Wyoming.
Many expect the whiskey to find fans across the country, but the next major release of about 250,000 bottles won’t come until late 2013. Hmm… looks like we’ll be keeping our eyes on eBay until then. Would you try a whiskey from Wyoming or will you be sticking with Kentucky?