Wavelength beam combining was used to co-propagate beams from 28 elements in an array of distributed-feedback quantum cascade lasers (DFB-QCLs). The beam-quality product of the array, defined as the product of near-field spot size and far-field divergence for the entire array, was improved by a factor of 21 by using wavelength beam combining. To demonstrate the applicability of wavelength beam combined DFB-QCL arrays for remote sensing, we obtained the absorption spectrum of isopropanol at a distance of 6 m from the laser array.