The Dry Fly Cask Strength Straight Wheat which I have reviewed a few days ago (neat and in a cocktail) was really able to completely convince me. For a long time I have acted a bit disparaging when it came to wheat whiskeys and thought of them as mere components of blended whiskeys or indirectly as a part of the mash in the production of bourbon. And pure wheat whiskeys were almost impossible to find (however, I once tried an Austrian wheat single malt). Now all the more interesting is today’s wheat whiskey! It was finished in my favorite type of barrels: port wine barrels. (provided test product)
And of course, I would also like to introduce a cocktail. And what a cocktail it is! But more on that down below. First, I would like to briefly introduce the whiskey, which once again comes from the Dry Fly micro distillery. It listens to the name “Dry Fly Port Finish Wheat Whiskey” and is essentially the Dry Fly Wheat Whiskey as I have presented it in the linked article. Now the special feature of this bottling is the fact that the Dry Fly Port Finished Wheat Whiskey was finishes for six to twelve months in former port wine barrels after it was allowed to mature for at least three years in regular barrels of American white oak. Well, to precise this is not completely true: The barrels in which this whiskey was finished did not contain “real” port wine, but only a “port-style wine”. It is all the more interesting, however, if you now learn that it was a huckleberry port-style wine (also simply called Huckleberry Port), which came from the operators of the Townshend Cellars in Spokane, Washington, who are friends with the Dry Fly founders. And here I was all ears! I love blueberries and of course also the American “huckleberry”. And I could not wait to try a whiskey that was matured in barrels of a fortified huckleberry wine. Especially since I really also like the regular Dry Fly Cask Strength Wheat.
The Dry Fly Port Finish Wheat Whiskey is bottled with 43% ABV. It costs between 50 and 60 euros.
Aroma: In fact, when directly comparing it to the cask strength wheat, some “darker” tones rise to the nose: the beautiful aromas of sweet pastries and vanilla are accompanied by tannins from the port wine barrels, a distinct and more pronounced spice note of the oak barrels, actually fine blueberry notes, cinnamon, cloves, associations of black cherries and tobacco. It is much richer and spicier.
Taste: This whiskey also keeps what it promised on the palate: Again, I can taste cake dough with much stronger spices: oak, cinnamon, dark chocolate, blueberries, dried fruit and a fine vanilla, while the whiskey remains gentle and soft at all times. The Huckleberry Port finish did not damage its quality.
Finish: long and spicy with tannins and fine honey
I have to admit: I am especially proud of the cocktail I have created with the Dry Fly Port Finish Wheat Whiskey. It is heavily influenced and inspired by a great pre-prohibition cocktail from the old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York (demolished in 1929 on the place where today the Empire State Building stands) called “Suburban”: a cocktail made from port wine, rye whiskey and rum. My “Sunset in Suburbia” takes up this basic theme, but enhances it by a combination of Dry Fly Port Finish Wheat Whiskey with the herbal- and spice-infused Pow-Wow Botanical Rye, two different kinds of bitters and a touch of Pedro Ximénez Sherry. The result is close to what I would call a perfect drink: incredibly complex, spicy with tones of dark chocolate that indulge the senses, brandied cherries, port wine, spices, barrel aromas, all in all full-bodied and very, very aromatic. I know that a man’s praise in his own mouth stinks, but the Sunset in Suburbia has simply turned out wonderfully.
Recipe “Sunset in Suburbia”:
3 cl Dry Fly Port Finish Wheat Whiskey
3 cl Quinta da Corte Ruby Reserve Port
1.5 cl Pow-Wow Botanical Rye
1.5 cl Appleton Estate 12 years
1 Bar spoon Lustau Pedro Ximénez Murillo
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
1 Dash The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters
Recipe: Stir all ingredients on ice until cold and pour into your pre-chilled glass. Finally spray the oil of a lemon zest onto the surface.
Glass: Coupette / Cocktail glass
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online.