I spend a shocking amount of time debating with myself and others about whether I like rye or bourbon better. Obviously, it’s a bottle by bottle situation; There are certain bottles of bourbon that I like better than certain bottles of rye, and vice versa. But in general, which style of whiskey do I like better? Honestly, I don’t know. And after tasting Wyoming Whiskey’s new Outryder, which eschews either category, the answer might be, “neither.”
Outryder isn’t a bourbon or a rye. It’s classified as a “Straight American Whiskey,” which has some of the same requirements as bourbon and rye, but doesn’t have to adhere to either strick mash bill. For Outryder, Wyoming Whiskey mixes the mash bills of two different whiskies, ultimately using a mix of winter rye, corn and malted barley, all of which were grown in Wyoming. There’s not enough rye to call the whiskey a rye, and not enough corn to call it a bourbon. So it’s Straight American Whiskey, which sounds vague, but in this case, it’s damn good. Essentially, with Outryder, Wyoming Whiskey has managed to blend the best characteristics of rye and bourbon in the same bottle.
Outryder has a rich, creamy nose. There’s something sweet and buttery in the aroma. It’s so enticing, I want to pour this all over my carpet so I can smell it every time I walk into the house. And things get better once I dig into the bottle. As Frank the Tank would say, “it’s so good, once it hits your lips, it’s so good.”
The first sip is full of that rich, butter I found in the nose, but also a bit of honey and maybe even banana up front. The mouthfeel is smooth and round, delivering all kinds of sweetness, until the rye kicks in and whisks everything away with a long, peppery finish that has a faint hint of cinnamon. It’s thick and slippery, a bit like the honey I’m pulling out of the profile. The spice lingers a bit, too. Add ice to the glass and some of that spice takes a back seat while the sweet notes come on strong, showing new layers of toffee and vanilla.
It’s 100 proof, but drinks like a softer booze. There’s no age statement on the bottle, and guessing by the color, I’d say it’s a young whiskey, but it has big flavor from the mash bill and whatever time it has spent in the barrel. That said, I’m excited to see what comes out of a young distillery like Wyoming Whiskey, once they’ve let some of their whiskies mature for five, 10 years, or longer.
This is easily my favorite spirit from Wyoming Whiskey, and one of the best new whiskies I’ve had in a while.
Distillery: Wyoming Whiskey
City: Kirby, Wyoming
Style: Straight American Whiskey
Availability: Year round