So. Craft whiskey.
I haven’t written about a craft whiskey in a while.
There’s a reason for that. I’ve been burned too often to want to pull the trigger on buying them when I see them in the store. I used to try every whiskey I could get my hands on. Big producers, small producers, bottlers, blenders, it didn’t matter. And I loved the idea of supporting small distilleries with my love and money. But there was a problem.
Out of all the ones I tried, I remember a handful that I really liked. There are very few would I want to spend my money on a second time. I know how the process works. I know that economies of scale play a big part in the “craft price,” but there weren’t many that I felt were…well…good. Much less good enough to justify an inflated price.
So I haven’t picked one up in a while. But I have tried a few at whiskey events, just to know where things are at. And in doing that I found a couple of producers that I felt warrented another look. One of those was Dry Fly Distilling out of Spokane, Washington. I’d heard their name, seen their product on the shelves, even read some reviews. But as I said, I’ve been burned before. I just didn’t want to drop the coin until I could be assured I’d at least be interested by the product. After trying it, I felt it was worth the risk. Especially for one where it was made out of an interesting grain.
Triticale is a hybrid grain. It was bred from wheat and rye in the late 1800s, but, according to wikipedia has only recently been commercially viable as a crop. If you want to know more you can read it yourself (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triticale). But what interested me about it was what it would bring to a whiskey. Would it be anything like other rye or wheat whiskies I’d had? Would it be soft or spicy? Would it be any good?
Dry Fly Straight Triticale Whiskey
Purchase Info: $29.99, 375 mL. Casanova Liquors, Hudson, WI. (It sells for between $39 and $49 for a 750 mL around the Twin Cities.)
Details: 44% ABV. Straight with no age statement so if all the rules were followed we should assume this is at least four years old in new barrels.
Nose: Bubble gum. Banana fruitiness. A light touch of caramel and baking spices.
Mouth: Spicier than I’d expect at 88 proof. A touch solventy at first. Sweet banana bread at the front of the mouth transitions to a nice minty rye spiciness as it moves toward a swallow.
Finish: A tad solventy again on the finish. Sweet and spicy. It fades to a nice bitterness that makes you want another sip.
Thoughts: I’m very pleasantly surprised by this. The more I taste of it, the more I like it. The only knock I have is that solvent note, but it seems to fade fairly fast. I’m guessing that as I finish the bottle it may even disappear. It tastes young, but I really like it. I can’t wait to try more by these guys.
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