By Richard Thomas
Some craft distilleries follow a path of focusing on one thing, such as Garrison Brothers and their Texas Bourbon or Westland and their Washington Malt. Others make many styles of whiskey and follow a course of variety. Iowa’s Cedar Ridge Distillery is one of these, and in pursuing that route they have an entry in the most obscure category of American Whiskey, wheat whiskey.
This one is different from other wheat whiskeys in that it’s made from a 100% malted wheat mash bill. At the moment, that is unique. Single malts are 100% malted barley, and there are some 100% malted rye whiskeys out there, but all malted wheat is a novelty. That novelty is bottled at 80 proof.
A swish of the glass yielded a strikingly viscous coat, one that dropped only a very few tears, and those were hesitant in the extreme. The color, however, is light, and in the vein of white wine.
The nose was rather grainy and grassy, with notes of honey and spice. The flavor was also grainy and grassy, but softer, with the same hint of honey and spice, but also a bit of caramel. From there went the finish, which was light and faded fast.
A bottle of Cedar Ridge Wheat Whiskey will run you $40.