There are many things to consider when planning your next hunting trip, but few are as fun as planning the celebration of success and what to do sitting around a campfire recapping the events of a great day in the woods. One important detail is my choice of after -dinner drink or, better yet, celebration drinks for productive hunts. There is little I find more enjoyable than watching a fire’s glow and planning the next day’s hunt or recapping the successes of a day with friends while sipping a favored drink
UPS delivers an unexpected package:
Recently, I received a package sent to me by a friend who wanted to know my opinion on a new bottle of whiskey. While at cocktail parties or dinner with friends, my drinks usually revolve around vodka, yet there’s just something I find calming about sipping bourbon or a rye whiskey. I am certainly not a connoisseur of fine alcohol, and you’ll not read here about which notes my drinks have to the nose or how they finish. I appreciate trying new options and adding them to my plans for future hunting trips or relaxing with them in the evening on the porch listening to summer peepers by the creek.
First impression captured my attention:
I didn’t recognize the company that made this bottle of whiskey. When I received the bottle, it intrigued me enough that I checked it’s website and found it was a product I liked the sounds of it before even cracking the seal. It turns out that Wyoming Whiskey is a small family-owned distillery in Kirby, Wyoming. I’m not from Wyoming, but I have traveled in that region of the west and even participated in a rodeo in Cody as a kid. Wyoming Whiskey uses only locally sourced ingredients. They are hard working people who work to preserve their land, their way of life, their family values and their traditions that continue today. All of this seems to sum up some of my ideals, memories, and dreams in a single bottle and I wanted to learn more.
If I was better educated in the art of bourbon and whiskey, I’m sure I would have already come by this product as a quick search brought up a number of articles and reviews by others like Cigar Aficionado, Bourbonr, and Forbes. While the reviews I browsed were somewhat interesting, the things that caught my attention were different than the details from the writers of the articles. I noticed little details about the bottle: that this bottle was marked 88 proof (the percentage of alcohol in the bottle), and upon further inspection, I discovered that Wyoming was the 44th state. (the % of alcohol in an 88 proof bottle), This and this is part of the company’sies patronage to their homeland. I noticed on the back of my bottle that it came from batch number 33, and that it was hand written on the label. This little detail made the bottle seem personal and a bit elite. There’s something different about small batch production that I enjoy being a part of. Details like these make a product interesting to me. I’m sure I’ll recall and share the particulars of this bottle around a campfire in the near future. Of course, none of this matters if what’s inside the bottle isn’t worthy.
A better understanding of my taste:
My whiskey preferences are typically in line with Knob Creek Rye, Jack Daniels No. 7, or Wild Turkey Rare Breed. Some may say I like the harsher tastes, but I do like a drink with a good combination of flavor and excitement. Maybe it’s that I fantasize about being a cowpoke with my horse close and listening to cattle nearby, but I also like a whiskey that feels like whiskey should: just enough burn to remind you that you’re alive, but smooth enough to appreciate and all with good flavor.
Prepping to try Wyoming Whiskey:
With Spring not quite breaking and only coyote hunting open, I didn’t want to save this bottle for my next planned trip. To ensure I gave it fair chance against competitors that are paired with hunting memories in my mind, I invited a friend over My long time hunting partner and whiskey-loving friend and I set out for an evening campfire, good food, and a sampling of whiskey. Dinner consisted of grilled Whitetail loin harvested this past fall, pasta with a homemade spicy red sauce, and good company. The firewood and fire pit were prepped and our wives were out for a night of seafood.
Wyoming Whiskey, Jack Daniels, and Maker’s Mark:
For a fair comparison, we decided to compare the Wyoming Whiskey to Jack Daniels No. 7, a personal favorite and a bottle of Maker’s Mark
Dinner is served:
To start, dinner was amazing. The venison was perfectly seared; grilled medium rare, and the red sauce on the pasta had just enough heat to keep you wanting more. We sampled a taste of each whiskey throughout dinner, and found Jack Daniels to go nicely with the entire meal. The Maker’s Mark didn’t fair as well as the alcohol overpowered the bourbon flavor, and left a medicinal aftertaste. The Wyoming Whiskey was intriguing. It packed a lot of flavor at first and was very drinkable, but also had enough heat to remind you what you were sipping. Over the course of our meal, we chatted about the three choices and also about a number of others that were our past favorites. We talked about hunting, our favorite guns to shoot, and things we had planned with our families in the upcoming weeks. As we finished our plates and recognized that we’d eaten a bit too much, it was time to head out to the fire, relax, and continue our research.
Experiencing the burn:
I love campfires. I’m not sure if it’s channeling an inner “pyro” or just being hypnotized by the flames, but I could sit for hours on end tossing small sticks in to watch them burn, saying nothing at all or engaging in long discussions about hunting trips, hunts I’d like to take, and generally working to “solve the world’s problems” with good friends. As the night progressed, we continued sampling the three whiskey bottles that sat nearby. We stopped focusing on determining a winner and instead focused on enjoying the evening, our good friendship, and the fire. It wasn’t until later on that it became apparent that we had a found a winner. The Wyoming Whiskey wasn’t just good, it became obvious from the level in the bottle it had emerged our clear favorite, and yet had enough rawness to it, to fit our time enjoying the outdoors. Our discussion eventually came back around to Jack Daniels versus Wyoming Whiskey. In our opinions, both were great, and Jack will continue to be a standby for us, but the Wyoming Whiskey was exciting and gave us that feeling of drinking something special
As an avid hunter, conservationist, and American, I love products that help me feel good about the company that made them and that do their part to support the lifestyle I believe in. As I continue to plan my hunting trips, experience the outdoors, and make memories with friends, I’ll be adding Wyoming Whiskey to my list of favorite celebratory drinks, one that is worthy of the memories to come.