We reviewed a handful of products from Washington, D.C.-based One Eight Distilling late last year, including Rock Creek Rye, which was the first whiskey to be distilled, aged, and bottled in the District since Prohibition. But the distillery hasn’t let off the gas, delivering D.C.’s first straight bourbon not long after those reviews. Now with a full line-up of products, including a vodka and two gins, One Eight has rebranded to deliver those grain-to-glass spirits under the District Made label. District Made Straight Bourbon is a unique blend of different bourbons with the final product being an uncommon four grain mix in which wheat and rye are both used as flavoring grains. There’s also some malted rye in the blend in addition to the more traditional malted barley. We enjoyed Rock Creek Rye (now known as District Made Straight Rye), but it’s much harder to produce a good bourbon at the two year mark. So what did we think of One Eight’s “baby” bourbon?
At only two years old, you could expect the nose on this whiskey to be dominated by corn, but it’s surprisingly complex and refined. The grain still features heavily but shows itself more as buttered popcorn and fresh cut hay. There’s a candy apple note, too, as well as toasted oak and a little Werther’s Original candy. On the palate, District Made Bourbon shows more youth with a corn sweetness and slight, woody bite that is tempered by notes of vanilla frosting and subtle fruit (mostly cherry and dark berries). For a very young bourbon, the body is soft and creamy, the heat is spot on, and the finish lingers with notes of rock candy and clove. Disciples of older bourbon won’t flock to this one, but those who appreciate the nuances in younger, well-made craft whiskey should give it a look. Excited to see what a couple more years of barrel aging will do to it!
A- / $45 / oneeightdistilling.com