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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Frey Ranch Released a 100% Wheat Whiskey That’s a Great Dessert Dram


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We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: Frey Ranch is one of the best craft distilleries making whiskey in the U.S. right now. The Nevada-based operation has a new expression coming out tomorrow—a barrel-strength, single-barrel wheat whiskey that packs a punch and is entirely different from the rest of the portfolio, and we have the details on what you should expect.

Frey Ranch is known for making grain-to-glass whiskey at its distillery and farm in Fallon, Nev., located about 75 miles east of the Sierra Nevadas. The distillery was founded by husband-wife team Colby and Ashley Frey, who hired on Russell Wedlake as master distiller. Everything is done on site, according to the team, from malting to maturation and even bottling, and the mashbills are composed of grains grown on the 1,500-acre Frey family farm. The core bourbon is five years old and made from a four-grain mashbill of 66.6 percent corn, 11.4 percent rye, 12 percent malted barley, and 10 percent white winter wheat; the rye is a bottled-in-bond expression made from 100 percent winter cereal rye.

The new edition of the Single Grain Series is unique in that it’s made from a mashbill of 100 percent white winter wheat that was grown on the Frey Ranch farm. It was cultivated by self-described “whiskey farmer” Colby Frey, and, like the other whiskeys, every step of production took place at the distillery. “Our slow grown grains are at the core of who we are as an American whiskey brand, so we’ll continue to experiment with different mashbills that showcase the high quality and unique flavor profiles of these single grain variations,” said Frey in a statement. “[This] is the first cask strength release from our Single Grain Series, and we’re looking forward to sharing this with the whiskey community.”

The 100% Wheat Whiskey is a single-barrel product bottled at cask strength, so each bottle will vary depending on which barrel it came from—ranging from 58.4 percent ABV (116.8 proof) to 67.2 percent ABV (134.4 proof), and about six to nearly eight years old. The sample we got to taste came from the highest end of the spectrum in proof and the lowest in age, having spent six years and two months in a barrel and coming in hot at 134.48 proof. Despite that intensity, there’s not a huge amount of alcohol on the nose, which starts things off nicely with notes of butterscotch and caramel. The heat enters the picture on the palate, however, but those sweet candy notes stills shine, along with raspberry, bright citrus, vanilla bean, and buttery frosting. The press release describes this whiskey as a “sugar bomb,” and that is accurate, but not in a saccharine way. This is a vanilla funfetti cake of a whiskey, and those notes develop even more after adding a little water to your dram.

The new wheat whiskey will be available online from the Frey Ranch website (SRP $114) starting later this week. In the meantime, you can find bottles of the rest of the whiskeys at websites like ReserveBar now.





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