Review: Dry Fly Distilling Straight Wheat Whiskey Finished in a Beer Barrel
It’s been several years since we last checked in with Washington-based Dry Fly Distilling, but we’re finally back with a look at a whiskey from its new Cask & Release Series, which involves partnerships with breweries to finish its whiskey in shared barrels.
First up is this offering, a wheat whiskey finished in barrels from Pelican Brewing in Pacific City, Oregon. Says Dry Fly, “They were one of the original breweries to age beer in our used barrels. This time we took those beer conditioned barrels back and aged 3 year old Wheat Whiskey for an additional year. The two years spent aging in barrels conditioned with Captains of the Coast Wee Heavy has given our Whiskey a rich base with incredible malty characteristics. You can really taste the beer through this one!”
Is that so? Let’s give it a whirl!
Well, to answer the first question, you can indeed definitely taste the beer here, and it comes across on the nose, too. A heavy barrel char character is complemented by notes of brown butter, butterscotch, vanilla, and (surprisingly) cardamom. It’s also moderately malty, with a well-toasted oat edge to it. On the palate, these elements coalesce into a more undulating, beer-heavy character. There’s a stout-like edge of malt balls and coffee bean, with a sharper point developing as the palate rolls along. Notes of nougat, savory oatmeal, and some nutty elements linger as the wood and the grain-driven notes come together in a — sometimes — somewhat uneasy detente toward the end. The finish reminds me of the malty, bittersweet head on a fresh pull of a dark-as-night ale.
Fun, unusual, and worth some attention.
B+ / $60 / dryflydistilling.com