On the Shelf: Spirits

2011-09-24T08:00:00Z 2014-09-07T14:58:54Z On the Shelf: SpiritsChad Michael George Feast Magazine | Inspired Local Food Culture/Midwest
September 24, 2011 8:00 am  • 

Dry Fly Washington Wheat Vodka

  • Provenance: Spokane, Wash. (40% abv)
  • Available at: The Wine & Cheese Place, multiple locations, wineandcheeseplace.com; $32.99
  • Try it: On the rocks

Three impressive Dry Fly Distilling spirits have landed in St. Louis. The award-winning distillery’s vodka is smooth, with a touch of sweetness and hints of vanilla and strawberry. Unlikemost smaller distilleries, Dry Fly Distilling ferments its own grain. I guess that’s why its vodka has more character than many others. Try it on the rocks to really taste the subtle sweetness and smooth finish unadulterated.

Dry Fly Washington Dry Gin

  • Provenance: Spokane, Wash. (40% abv)
  • Available at: Friar Tuck, multiple locations, friartuckonline.com; $37.99
  • Try it: With soda and lime or in a Negroni

This is a quality product, indeed. But a classic gin it is not. Juniper, generally the calling card of gin, seems fairly absent. Instead, expect apple, pear, lime and pepper, with just a hint of Christmas tree pine. A gateway gin, this is a great bottling if you think you don’t like the spirit. Instead of tonic, try it with a splash of soda and a lime twist. Or use it in a Negroni. Just add equal parts Dry Fly gin, Campari and sweet vermouth over rocks and top with a lemon twist.

Dry Fly Washington Wheat Whiskey

  • Provenance: Spokane, Wash. (40% abv)
  • Available at: Lukas Liquor, 15921 Manchester Road, Ellisville, lukasliquorstl.com; $54.99
  • Try it: Neat or in an Old Fashioned

The recent surge in craft distilling has created a large market of young whiskeys, or whiskeys aged less than four years in oak. Dry Fly whiskey is aged less than two years and has notes of cinnamon and vanilla. But the malty, almost bran-cereal flavor of the base spirit is the strongest feature. Sip it neat to understand the difference between this whiskey and one that’s fully aged. Dry Fly whiskey is terrific in an Old Fashioned, as the sweetness pairs well with the sugar and bitters.


Award-winning sommelier and mixologist Chad Michael George is founder of Proof Academy, which covers everything from wine and cocktail list consulting to spirits and mixology education.

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