Wyoming Whiskey Releases Special ‘Integrity’ Bourbon Inspired By Sen. Al Simpson

Former Wyoming U.S. Sen. Al Simpson has inspired generations of Wyomingites, met heads of state around the globe and is a Medal Freedom recipient. Now his name is on a special batch of Wyoming Whiskey bourbon called “Integrity.”

Andrew Rossi

August 03, 20233 min read

Al Simpson and Wyoming whisky 8 3 23
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Integrity is a word frequently used to describe former U.S. senator and lifelong Wyoming resident Al Simpson. Now, the same superlative is on the label of a special batch of bourbon exclusively available in the Cowboy State. 

Wyoming Whiskey, recently named one of the nation's top 10 craft whiskey distilleries by USA Today, continues to make its mark from the small town of Kirby in Hot Springs County. 

When the master distillers at Wyoming Whiskey recognize a superior batch, they set it aside for special releases and anniversaries. "Integrity" is one of those batches, released exclusively in Wyoming as a tribute to Alan Simpson, 91.

"The nature and spirit of Wyoming Whiskey is to be a true product of Wyoming," said Alex Akselrad of Verde Brands Communications, which handles public relations for Wyoming Whiskey. "The ingredients and human resources all come from Wyoming. The product is fermented, distilled and bottled in Wyoming. (The company) is centered around doing things the right way, not the easy way."

Smooth, Warm and Simple

Ben Galagan is a Cody resident and whiskey connoisseur who has known Simpson for decades.

Galagan hasn't had a sip of Wyoming Whiskey since trying its first batch years ago, but was already helping himself to a second glass of Integrity while describing the experience to Cowboy State Daily this week.

"Now I'm getting caramel notes on the nose," Galagan said.

"The Integrity edition perfectly embodies what Wyoming's way of life truly is. It is smooth to the nose and to taste, with a semi-sweet dark chocolate note to remind you of the complexity of bourbon,” he said. “There isn't much for harshness within. It has a gentle mouth feel for a bourbon's standard. It's simple in flavor, easy going.

“It's not trying too hard to be exciting, it's content with what it is, and it shines because of that."

Integrity will be available at the Wyoming Whiskey tasting rooms in Kirby and Jackson and at retail locations aroundthe state that already sell Wyoming Whiskey. But given that it's a special batch, its quantity is limited.

"Once the last bottle is sold and drank, that's it," Akselrad said.

As someone who knows Wyoming and Senator Simpson, Galagan said he believes Wyoming Whiskey's Integrity is a perfect tribute to both. 

"Easy going, smooth, warm, simple. Much like Wyoming values, the Integrity Edition doesn't strive to be the best. It strives to hold true to its core values and its history throughout," he said. 

Spirit Of, And For, Wyoming

While most of Wyoming Whiskey's product is aged five years, Integrity is being bottled after aging seven years. This makes a "profound impact" on any whiskey's flavor notes and profile, the company says.

The bourbon’s official description describes the integrity of Simpson and why he inspired the special batch.

"Parental guidance followed by the original, respected and memorable Alan K. Simpson," it says. "Forthright and funny. Family and friendship. Defining principles that inform a disarming approach to all opportunities and challenges. 

"Army Infantry, State Legislature, U.S. Senate, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, and countless others (were) made better by his wit and wisdom. Cody, Wyoming, and the United States are lucky to have him. And we are proud to honor him with a bourbon of character and distinction fit for a legend."

Akselrad said the bourbon “embodies the spirit of Wyoming and ties into the spirit with which Alan Simpson represented Wyoming for so long.”

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Andrew Rossi

Features Reporter

Andrew Rossi is a features reporter for Cowboy State Daily based in northwest Wyoming. He covers everything from horrible weather and giant pumpkins to dinosaurs, astronomy, and the eccentricities of Yellowstone National Park.