Wyoming Whiskey is releasing a 7-year-old expression of its Outryder Straight American Whiskey this January.
Outryder, the only Bottled in Bond whiskey from Wyoming, was first released in October 2016, representing Wyoming Whiskey’s first use of rye, along with corn and malted barley.
Those who have been following the brand for the past decade may recall that Bourbon Hall of Famer and former Maker’s Mark Master Distiller Steve Nally was hired to run all production in Kirby when the company first launched.
Following the early trend in rye whiskeys circa 2010, Co-Founder David DeFazio put a request in with Nally that he develop a rye. Nally expressed reluctance, communicated his distaste for the spirit. Over a few months, the founders strongly encouraged the Bourbon Hall of Famer to reconsider his position, and Nally ultimately surrendered to the request — albeit defiantly. Two different whiskies were laid down in November and December of 2011 at the behest of DeFazio and his partner Brad Mead. Nally made nearly 100 barrels of “rye” and 200 barrels of bourbon made with rye.
A couple of years after these whiskies were made, Nally left Wyoming Whiskey to return home to spend more time with his family and pursue other projects. Fast forward to 2016, when it was time to bottle the nearly 5-year-old barrels of bourbon and “rye.” Wyoming Whiskey’s Distiller Sam Mead called DeFazio to explain that the whiskey Nally produced was only 48% rye, which disqualified it from the rye whiskey category. The team was stunned and dumbfounded. How could it be?
DeFazio paid a phone call to Nally and said “I want you to know that the “rye” you made is spectacular … but why did you only use 48% rye in the mash bill?” Nally responded, “Because I told you I didn’t want to make rye.”
With a high-rye whiskey that did not meet the legal 51% requirement to be called a rye, Wyoming Whiskey was left with no choice but to develop a straight American whiskey from Nally’s two whiskies. The first whiskey contains 48% winter rye, 40% corn and 12% malted barley, and the second reflects a traditional bourbon mash bill of 68% corn, 20% winter rye and 12% malted barley.
Wyoming Whiskey master blender, Nancy Fraley, fine-tuned the Outryder expression through barrel selection and its specific blending process. Fraley’s tasting notes for the 2020 release of Outryder is as follows:
COLOR: Bronze to copper.
NOSE: The 2020 release of Outryder is now 7 years, 10 months of age and has gained more matured, complex aromas in the arid climate of Kirby, WY. This season’s Outryder features savory, sweet, and spicy notes of dried tobacco leaves, Jamaican allspice cake batter with golden raisins, almond butter, old cedar chest, and walnut baklava drizzled with dark honey and orange blossom water.
PALATE: The initial entry is of candied ginger, followed by mid-palate waves of sweet black tea with bruised mint leaves, grilled hazelnuts, Mexican dark hot chocolate, and cream cheese on a toasted cinnamon bagel.
MOUTHFEEL: Light to medium viscosity, with peppery mint and roundness on the palate.
FINISH: Long and luscious, with winter peppermint fading to brown butter and orange marmalade.
Consistent with Bottled in Bond requirements, Outryder is 100 proof.
A total of 577 4.5-L cases of Outryder will be available for purchase throughout the U.S. at the suggested price of $75, beginning in January.
The remaining stock of Outryder — available in limited annual supply — will be released in 8-, 9- and 10-year-old expressions over the next three years, until the last batch of barrels are harvested in 2022.