"The stills are the pretty part," says Don Poffenroth as he points to his twin, custom-designed 450-liter Christian Carl copper-pot stills. Manufactured in Goppingen, Germany, the stills travelled over seven-thousand miles to Dry Fly Distillery's home in Spokane, Washington, and today, are used to make the four whiskies in Dry Fly's experimental Creel Collection: Washington Bourbon 101, Triticale Whiskey, Cask Strength Wheat Whisky and Port Finish Wheat Whiskey.
Dry Fly Washington Bourbon 101 is made from a mash of 60% corn, 20% wheat and 20% barley. "All the ingredients for our bourbon were sourced locally from Washington," says Poffenroth, who was inspired to open the doors to Dry Fly Distillery during a fly-fishing trip with his co-founder, Kent Fleischmann. After mashing and fermenting the grains, Poffenroth and Fleischmann distill the wash through their twin Christian Carl copper-pot stills before maturing the bourbon in new, charred American oak casks. "Our bourbon has aged in full-sized, 53-gallon casks for three years," says Fleischmann.
Dry Fly Triticale Whiskey is made from a mash of 100% triticale. Triticale is a type of grain that was originally created in Scotland during the 1800s by crossing a species of wheat with a species of rye. While the goal was to produce a new type of grain that had the hardiness of rye but the yields of wheat, the process also created a grain that had the spicy characteristics of a rye that were complemented by the robust, soft flavors of wheat. "This may very well be the very first commercially available whiskey made from triticale," says Poffenroth. "It took us a long time to figure out how to distill this right - we had to watch over the fermentation process carefully and then figure out how to mature it without overpowering the flavors of the triticale. Now it's the best thing we've ever made." After mashing and fermenting the grains, Dry Fly Triticale Whiskey is aged in 53-gallon barrels for a minimum of two years.
After Dry Fly Bourbon and Dry Fly Triticale Whiskey have matured, they are brought to proof before each is bottled by hand.
Dry Fly Cask Strength Wheat Whiskey and Port Finish Wheat Whiskey are made from 100% soft winter-wheat sourced from a local Co-Ag Cooperative situated 25 miles north of Spokane. "We're in wheat country," says Fleischmann. "We have beautiful resources. That's why we utilize only local ingredients."After the grains are fermented and distilled, Poffenroth ages the wheat whiskey in new, medium-charred American oak barrels sourced from the Bluegrass Cooperage in Tennessee for a minimum of two years.
Dry Fly Cask Strength Wheat Whiskey is bottled at 120-proof (barrel-strength) while Dry Fly Port Finish Wheat Whiskey is double-barreled, or finished, in port barrels sourced from Townshend Winery (the barrels were previously used to mature port that was infused with huckleberries).
DryFly Washington Bourbon has a slightly spicy nose with notes of cinnamon, vanilla and oak. The entry has notes of caramel and toffee, that are balanced by notes of clove and allspice mid-palate. The finish is long and slightly sweet.
Dry Fly Triticale Whiskey has an aroma of gingerbread, cinnamon and dried fruits that opens up to notes of oak and apple on the palate. Spicy notes of rye are pronounced, and lead to a finish with hints of additional gingerbread, oak and vanilla.
Dry Fly Cask Strength Wheat Whiskey has an aroma of charred oak and toffee, with notes of doughy bread and warm biscuits.
Dry Fly Port Finish Wheat Whiskey has notes of ripe grapes and berries, with a touch of huckleberry sweetness on the finish.
"We are trying to challenge the norm," says Fleischmann. "We want to raise the bar and produce something memorable that keeps people coming back."
Challenge the norm with four unique Dry Fly whiskies today!
Bourbon: 101 (50.5% ABV); Triticale: 86 (43% ABV); Cask Strength Wheat Whiskey: 120 (60% ABV); Port Finish Wheat Whiskey: 86 (43% ABV)
Dry Fly Distilling
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Bourbon: Cinnamon, vanilla and oak aroma. Notes of caramel and toffee that are well-balanced by hints of clove and allspice. Slightly sweet, long finish.