Dry Fly Straight Washington Wheat 2015 Review
Dry Fly Distillery is not only Washington State’s first distillery since prohibition, but they’re also credentialed as one of the original pioneers of the craft whiskey boom. In 2007, they laid down new fifty three gallon barrels filled with whiskey made from a mash bill of 100% Washington wheat. This whiskey was released two years later in 2009 to a very excited and eager Spokane. I remember it being so scarce and in demand that it took me a few months on a waiting list before I could buy my first bottle. Back then this wheater was bottled at 40% ABV and was around 2 years old. Dry Fly progressed their wheat wizardry when they released the Creel Collection in 2012 which included a cask strength version and a port wine finished version. Even their Triticale hybrid rye whiskey is half wheat. No other craft distillery has explored this versatile grain more than Dry Fly.
It’s been years since we sat down seriously with Dry Fly’s wheat. The cask strength version became my go to bottle (how could it not, it’s wheat but with steroid rage). But a casual sauntering through a local liquor joint, however, brought a spring to my step as I spied a few changes on the already iconic bottle design of their flagship expression. It is now designated “straight,” carries a three year old age statement and is now bottled at 45% ABV, no longer 40%. It cannot be stressed enough that these are not small, casual changes. Dry Fly is progressing their most recognizable expression in the interest of quality for their consumers. Stronger, older, and now defined as “straight,” this face lifted flagship is a big thing for an industry that has to keep moving forward.
As we have stated over and over, you cannot get by with “craft” on your label anymore. You either innovate and improve your quality or you will diminish. And as usual, Dry Fly Distillery is leading, not following.
Nose- Lovely citrus and vanilla. Lemon cake. Tangerine juice. The appetizing wheat grain/bakery notes are still here but now a bit more elegant and mature. Werthers candies. More depth and richness than in years past. Beautiful , complex nose.
Taste- Pound cake. Light. Sweet pastry and lemon candies. Savory caramels.
Finish- Punchy. Vanilla wafer and nice barrel char. Bursts but fades off. Citrus peel and sourdough.
Comments- What an improvement from years past. The big citrus feel is cool, it’s not just a wheat grain show anymore. Elegance with flavor and wonderful balance. Feels like an aperitif for springtime. Very relevant brand with distinction in the craft industry.
SWC Rating – 88/100
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