Whiskey Name: Dry Fly 101 Washington Bourbon
Distillery: Dry Fly
Whiskey Type: Wheat-recipe bourbon
Release Date: General release
Age: NAS. Apparently about 2 and a half years
Mashbill: 60% corn, 20% wheat, 20% malted barley
Introduction/Background: Founded in 2007, Dry Fly is another craft distillery that has taken wheat to its heart. Alongside their wheat-recipe bourbon they’ve a range of wheat whiskies, some of which come in cask-finished form, and they’ve also experimented with the Triticale grain, which is a wheat-rye hybrid.
Another we don’t see much of this side of the pond; this is the first of their juice I’ve sat down with, though a couple of their wheat whiskies are rattling around my drinks by the dram sample pile!
Appearance: Hazelnut. Though I understand if you don’t get that from the picture … another black mark in my photo-taking record book. Sorry!
Nose: If this smelled more like wholemeal bread I’d be trying to cut a slice and toast it. Nothing raw-grainy though; this is hearty, ‘fresh baked’ stuff. There’s an orange zest element too, behind which lurk vanilla sponge and custard. The faintest hint of botanical in the background. An assertive, savoury nose. Almost rough-and-ready, but in a positive way, if that makes sense. Primal bourbon!
Mouth: Really lush palate. More bread, but now absolutely slathered in thick, floral honey and caramel. Full-bodied, with direct, intense flavours. Not complex, but the sweet and dry elements are very well balanced. Alcohol growls, but doesn’t bite.
Finish: Long, though no real change to the flavours.
Value for Money: Not great - £68 is a big wodge of cash, after all.
Summary: They’re obviously distilling brilliant spirit in that tiny 450 litre still in Spokane. They’re handling wheat brilliantly, and hats off for dodging any immature notes. Big character, big flavours.
That said, £68 is a heck of an outlay for a bourbon which, whilst good, feels like it still has long yards in the tank before it reaches peak potential. With the size of body, and the development of flavours after two and a half years, you get the sense that this stuff would be fascinating as a 10-12 year-old in the long term. At the moment its flavours are, although very well communicated, still a bit on the young and basic side.
Overall Verdict: Another distillery high up my ‘keep tabs on’ list. But I wouldn’t personally go for a full bottle at £70.
Words by WhiskyPilgrm