Wyoming Whiskey logo with double W on dark background.

Wyoming Whiskey Distillery

  • USA, Wyoming
  • Best Distillery in the Rockies, Craft Distillery of the Year Award Finalist, Small Batch Bourbon Recognition
  • https://wyomingwhiskey.com/
Phone Number
  • +13078642116
  • 120 E Main St, Kirby, WY 82430, United States

Wyoming Whiskey distillery entrance sign in Kirby, Wyoming.

History of Wyoming Whiskey

Founding and Founders

Wyoming Whiskey was established in 2006 by Brad and Kate Mead, along with David DeFazio. The Mead family, with over 120 years of history in Wyoming, primarily engaged in cattle raising and hay production in Kirby, Wyoming.

This venture marked the inception of the first legal, operating distillery in the state. Brad Mead, a fourth-generation cattle rancher, teamed up with his wife Kate and their associate David DeFazio, a lawyer by training, to start this distillery.

The Distilling Journey Begins

Production of whiskey commenced in 2009. To ensure the distillery had a strong foundation in traditional bourbon-making techniques, the founders recruited former Maker’s Mark master distiller Steve Nally in 2007. Nally’s expertise was pivotal in shaping the distillery’s initial offerings. He stayed with Wyoming Whiskey until 2014, after which Brad’s and Kate’s son, Sam Mead, took over as the head distiller.

Location and Production Process

The distillery is located in Kirby, Wyoming, in the Big Horn Basin. This independent, family-owned distillery prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients from within 100 miles of the facility. The water, a crucial component, is drawn from a mile-deep limestone aquifer, imparting a unique minerality to the whiskey. Wyoming Whiskey employs a wheated bourbon recipe, with wheat being the secondary grain in their mashbill.

Current Status and Partnerships

As of recent years, Wyoming Whiskey has partnered with Edrington, a Scottish spirits group, to aid in distribution and growth while maintaining family ownership and operation. The distillery has also involved distilling and blending consultant Nancy Fraley in improving processes and creating new expressions.

Product Range and Flavor Profile

Wyoming Whiskey offers a variety of products, including Small Batch bourbon (their first release dating back to 2012), Single Barrel bourbon, Barrel Strength bourbon, and the Outryder. The flavor profile of their Small Batch bourbon is described as having a light to medium body with a smooth finish, including notes of green apples, cinnamon, vanilla, raisins, caramel, cherry juice, fresh mint, and a hint of peppercorn heat.

Reception and Recommendations

The reception of Wyoming Whiskey has been mixed, with some appreciating its uniqueness and others finding it lacking in certain aspects compared to traditional bourbons. However, its status as the first distillery in Wyoming and its use of local ingredients have garnered interest.

In summary, Wyoming Whiskey represents a unique blend of traditional bourbon-making and Wyoming’s local resources, offering a distinct product in the world of spirits.

Awards Won by Wyoming Whiskey

Best Distillery in the Rockies: Wyoming Whiskey was named “Best Distillery” for two consecutive years in the “Best of the Rockies” award series. This recognition was part of the Elevation Outdoors magazine awards, where readers, mainly outdoor adventurers in Colorado’s front range, voted for their top choice among distilleries in the Rocky Mountain region​​.

Craft Distillery of the Year Award Finalist: Wyoming Whiskey was a finalist for the Craft Distillery of the Year Award by RackHouse Whiskey Club. The distillery was chosen for its commitment to crafting exceptional whiskey and its efforts in protecting the landscape through its partnership with the National Park Foundation​​.

Small Batch Bourbon Recognition: The Small Batch Bourbon from Wyoming Whiskey has also gained notable recognition. This product has been awarded by top whiskey connoisseurs, highlighting its quality and taste​​.

Wyoming Whiskey Tour Information and Experience

Situated in Kirby, Wyoming, in the scenic Big Horn Basin, Wyoming Whiskey is renowned for being the state’s first legal distillery. With a legacy dating back to 1890 as ranchers, the Mead family founded this distillery, blending their deep-rooted heritage with the art of whiskey making.

Distillery Tour Experience

  • Tour Schedule: Available from Monday to Friday, tours start at 10 a.m. and run until 3 p.m.
  • Tour Journey: The guided tour offers a deep dive into the whiskey-making process, beginning with the milling of locally grown grains, moving through fermentation and distillation, and culminating in the aging warehouse where the whiskey matures.
  • Unique Features: The distillery boasts a 34′ copper still, custom-made and unique to Wyoming Whiskey, providing an exceptional experience for visitors.

The Whiskey Shop

  • Operating Hours: Open from Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Merchandise: Various exclusive Wyoming Whiskey products are available, including their signature whiskeys, souvenirs, and merchandise.

Whiskey Tasting and Offerings

  • Tasting Experience: Visitors can indulge in whiskey tastings at the Whiskey Shop.
  • Signature Whiskeys:
    • Small-Batch Bourbon Whiskey: An award-winning traditional bourbon with vanilla and caramel notes.
    • Single-Barrel Bourbon Whiskey: Offers a singular taste with impressions of butter crème and candied orange peel.
    • Barrel Strength Bourbon Whiskey: Known for its aromatic and spicy profile, with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel.

Flask & Barrel Review of Wyoming Whiskey

As a seasoned whiskey collector who has toured numerous distilleries, I’ve come across an array of flavors and profiles. But Wyoming Whiskey, a relatively newer player in the game, has caught my attention for a few compelling reasons. Here’s my review:

Wyoming Whiskey Review (4.7/5)

Smoothness & Flavor: Wyoming Whiskey is surprisingly smooth, with a light to medium body that’s easy on the palate. The first sip greets you with a blend of green apple and cinnamon, reminiscent of a cozy, rustic kitchen. As the drink settles, subtle notes of vanilla and caramel emerge, adding a sweet complexity without overpowering the senses. The wheat in the mashbill gives it a unique character, different from your typical rye bourbons.

Nose & Finish: On the nose, it’s a delightful mix of fresh, fruity, and spicy aromas. The green apple scent is prominent, but not overwhelming. The finish is where Wyoming Whiskey really shines. It leaves a smooth, lingering taste with hints of cherry juice and a slight peppery kick that tickles the back of your throat. It’s a warm, comforting finish that invites you for another sip.

Uniqueness & Character: What sets Wyoming Whiskey apart is its authenticity and commitment to local production. The water, sourced from a deep limestone aquifer, imparts a subtle minerality that you don’t find in other bourbons. The use of locally sourced grains adds to its charm, knowing that it’s a product truly born out of Wyoming’s landscape.

Versatility: This whiskey is versatile enough to be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as the base for a cocktail. It’s smooth enough for a casual drink yet complex enough for a discerning palate. I’ve found it pairs particularly well in a classic Old Fashioned, allowing its unique flavor profile to shine.

Overall Impression: Wyoming Whiskey is a commendable effort from a relatively new distillery. It may not have the long history of some of its competitors, but it certainly doesn’t lack in quality or character. As someone who has experienced many whiskies, this one stands out for its unique use of local ingredients and its smooth, inviting flavor profile. It’s a solid 4.7 out of 5 for me, and I recommend it to both newcomers and seasoned collectors alike. It’s a bottle that deserves a spot in any collection, promising a distinct taste of Wyoming in every glass.

What To Do Nearby Wyoming Whiskey

Merglenn Studio & Gallery: This art gallery is a great place for art enthusiasts. It showcases various artworks, providing a cultural touch to your visit. The gallery is a unique spot to witness local creativity and talent.

Hot Springs State Park (approx. 12 miles from Kirby): Known for its thermal hot springs, this state park is perfect for relaxation and enjoying natural beauty. You can take a dip in the soothing waters or explore the scenic walking trails.

The Star Plunge (around 12 miles from Kirby): A family-friendly water park located in Thermopolis. It offers a variety of pools and slides, making it an ideal spot for fun and relaxation, especially if you are traveling with kids.

TePee Pools and Spa (roughly 12 miles from Kirby): Another great spot in Thermopolis, this facility provides a calming spa experience. It’s a good choice for those looking to unwind after a day of whiskey tasting.

Hot Springs County Museum & Cultural Center (about 12 miles from Kirby): Situated in Thermopolis, this museum offers insights into the local history and culture. It’s a must-visit for history buffs looking to learn more about the area.

Wyoming Adventures (in proximity to Kirby): If you’re interested in outdoor activities, this place offers fishing charters and tours, providing a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of Wyoming’s landscapes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Wyoming Whiskey?

P6 Station: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can contact them on their phone at (307) 864-3666. Their address is 544 Park St, Thermopolis, WY 82443.

7 Lazy S Cafe and Bar: This restaurant has a rating of 4.7 stars. You can contact them at (307) 864-2500 for more information or to make a reservation. The address is 109 S 6th St, Thermopolis, WY 82443.

Black Bear Cafe: Black Bear Cafe boasts a rating of 4.6 stars. Their contact number is (307) 864-3221, and they are located at 111 N 5th St, Thermopolis, WY 82443.

What hotels are near Wyoming Whiskey?

Best Western Plus Plaza Hotel: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (307) 864-2939. Their address is 116 E Park St, Thermopolis, WY 82443.

Days Inn by Wyndham Worland: This hotel has a rating of 4.5 stars. Contact them at (307) 347-4251 for more information or to make a reservation. The address is 500 N 10th St, Worland, WY 82401.

Elk Antler Inn: Elk Antler Inn boasts a rating of 4.1 stars. Their contact number is (307) 864-2325, located at 501 S 6th St, Thermopolis, WY 82443.