View Full Version : Wyoming Whiskey

09-05-2008, 09:12
Although this article (http://billingsgazette.net/articles/2007/11/28/news/wyoming/25-whiskey.txt) is almost a year old, I just came across it.

I've mentioned before that Steve Nally (misspelled Malley) is the retired Maker's Mark distiller who is directing the distilling side of this enterprise. His wife, Donna Nally, who ran the tourism operation at Maker's for many years, will be setting up a tourism operation there.

They both are way too young to be retired anyway.

Although it's undated, this article (http://www.wylr.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=44&Itemid=19) appears to have been written earlier this year.

I talked to Steve about this in April and it didn't sound nearly as far along as either of these articles suggests, but Steve and Donna are the real deal and the enterprise also seems to be properly planned and capitalized.

I've been disappointed by most small distiller attempts to make whiskey, but this one I'll be watching with great interest.

09-05-2008, 13:24
I suppose we are at least 5-8 years out before any product is possible....minimum 2-4 in barrel...hopefully longer aging...I wonder how the climate / elevation would affect the product....store it somewhere else?

09-05-2008, 13:50
No, they're going to age it there. It can get pretty hot in the summer, Steve tells me. He intends to fully age it but his employers may have other ideas. I knew water was an issue but I didn't know they had to bring it in by truck.

09-05-2008, 14:13
Wonder how it will compare with Stranahans Colorado whiskey? As far as costs go, it will probably be fairly expensive IMHO. I am a little familiar with that area of the country.(My brother lived in Greybull for many years) There is nothing out there for miles and miles. Shipping costs to get raw materials there, and the product out would have to be very high. Guess we'll have to wait and see, and hope for the best. Joe

09-05-2008, 21:08
They have a nearby source of corn but not rye or malt and trucking in water? You have to be kidding. I bet they have surface or well water they can use for the boiler and such, but it's not suitable for going into the product.

Stranahan's is malt whiskey aged in new barrels. If Steve has his way, he will make wheated bourbon that's as much like Maker's Mark as he can make it.

09-06-2008, 07:21
. If Steve has his way, he will make wheated bourbon that's as much like Maker's Mark as he can make it.

I remember him saying that he was going to do a wheater because as he said, that is what I know.

09-06-2008, 18:45
I wasn't sure if there was a viable corn crop available in Wyoming. I know they used to have some wheat in that region. Corn, or barley, were what I was unsure of. I also didn't mean to infer they would be shipping in water. The Bighorn River meanders through that area and one of the largest mineral hot springs in the world is in Thermopolis. I know the area is a good aquifer. Getting barrels would be one of the biggest problems I would think. Joe

09-07-2008, 14:21
They are, in fact, shipping in water, according to the articles I cited at the beginning of this thread.

Yes, getting barrels in could be a problem.

09-07-2008, 14:59
Sorry Chuck, I missed that. Their ranch must be quite a bit away from the river if the pipeline is still 4 miles away. That will make for a lot of trips in a tanker truck. They said they want to make a top shelf whiskey, not the most expensive one. By the time all is said and done, I bet this will be in the top 10% of most expensive bourbons. Joe

09-07-2008, 15:49
I don't know Steve Nally well but I do know him. When I ran into him at the micro distillers conference in the the spring, it was like a breath of fresh air. I was surrounded by a bunch of smug kids with new toys and no idea what they were doing, and here was this soft-spoken guy, taking it all in. I imagine he concluded that being there was a huge waste of his time, as they certainly had nothing to teach him, but I was glad to see that there is somebody we can point to and say, "see, this guy gets it."

While there seem to be some people, even a few who should know better, who pee their pants at the sight of every unfamiliar label, I get more skeptical about this new movement (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2008/09/question-for-craft-distillers-wheres.html) with each passing day.

09-07-2008, 16:25
At least they were smart enough to get someone that knows what they're doing. I haven't got into too many searches of the micro distilleries and such. The only ones I know about at all are Death's Door Spirits and Woodstone Creek, and what I know about them is not very much. I think it's admirable that people want to open a distillery and produce bourbon/whiskey. Will there be a big enough niche in the market to make these micro distilleries successful? The big boys seem to have most of the bases covered when it comes to variety, taste, cost, etc.. If they wanted, the could make it awfully tough for these guys to compete. Unless their whiskey is very, very good, they could price themselves right out of the market. A couple of questions. 1. Just how successful is Stranahans Colorado whiskey? and 2. Have you heard what Dave Pickerel is up to these days? Joe

09-08-2008, 02:43
I don't know how Stranahans or any of these micro distillers are doing. I also don't know what their business model is, how they're financed, or what their financial expectations are. I figure they can't stay open forever if they're not profitable, and I haven't heard of any closing yet, just more and more opening.

All I have heard about Dave is that he is trying to go back into consulting and if he can make that work, that's what he'd like to do. He was a consulting engineer to distillers all over the world before he joined Maker's and he'd like to go back to that. He wasn't a Maker's lifer.

09-08-2008, 18:16
I don't know whether it is worth posting or not, but back in April I sent an E mail to Stranahan's showing my support I wrote:

I had first heard of your whiskey on Straight Bourbon.com but after
watching the History Chanel's program "modern Marvels", I decided to try
it. I live in a rural area so I figured I'd have to find it through an on
line merchant. As luck would have it, circumstances took me down to
Peoria, about an hour and ten minute drive from home. I picked up a bottle
at a well stocked liquor store called friar tuck's beverages.

I must say I'm impressed. I'm four square behind the micro-distilling
movement and your product is among the best. Also, unlike some others your
whiskey is "your whiskey". Others have started out selling bulk sourced
whiskey distilled and aged by one of the major distillers passing it off
as their own until their own distillate has enough age on it to enter the
commercial pipeline.

I just wanted to drop you guys a line and offer my thanks and

most sincerely

Bradly H. Ottoson

And their reply:

Bradley, Thank you for the kind words! You are correct: we do NOT contract distill and slap a label on a new bottle. Plan A was always to make something distinctly Colorado. If you're ever out in our part of the woods please stop by. Cheers, Jess

I can't do much, but since I like their whiskey I try to spread the word and I wanted to let them know that I appreciate that the whiskey they are selling is their own distillate. I also squeezed in a mention of SB.com

09-08-2008, 23:21
Apparently, a CO distiller has entered the fray (http://blogs.westword.com/cafesociety/2008/08/a_peach_of_a_bourbon_made_in_c.php):

Peach Street Distillers, a company based in Palisade, has just released the first bourbon -- legal, that is -- ever made in Colorado.

Peach Street already makes Goat Vodka and Jackelope Gin, and its Peach Street Distillers’ Straight Bourbon Whiskey had been aging in oak barrels for two years, waiting for the right time to be bottled and sold.

Which was last Friday. “I’ve been dropping by every week for what seems like an eternity, but they say the finest things are worth waiting for,” said Grand Junction resident Josh Williams, who got one of the 200 bottles available.

Each 750 ml. bottle is hand-numbered by Davy Lindig, head distiller, and proofed at 46 percent alcohol by volume, or 92 proof, according to Lindig's specifications. Although most bourbons are made in Kentucky, the only real requirement is that it be made from at least 51 percent corn (Peach Street uses Olathe sweet corn), aged for not less than two years in American oak barrels, and not supplemented in any way during bottling.
Given that there are 200 bottles total and they're almost 5 hours drive from Denver, I don't expect a taste any time soon.

09-09-2008, 06:27
Peach Street already makes Goat Vodka and Jackelope Gin, and its Peach Street Distillers’ Straight Bourbon Whiskey had been aging in oak barrels for two years, waiting for the right time to be bottled and sold.

The "right time" was apparently the two year mark, the earliest it could be called "Straight Bourbon Whiskey".

09-09-2008, 06:35
The "right time" was apparently the two year mark, the earliest it could be called "Straight Bourbon Whiskey".

You noticed that too?:skep: