The team at One Eight Distilling expanded their operation in Washington D.C.’s Ivy City neighborhood this year, trading up to a shiny new column and hybrid pot still that will enable them to eventually triple their capacity. In time, they’ll be rolling out 11 barrels a day, which is no small feat for a craft distillery. They kept their foot on the gas throughout the whole expansion, however, releasing three new whiskeys in their Untitled Series which now numbers 15 unique expressions. Our thoughts on 13, 14, and 15 follow.
One Eight Distilling Untitled Whiskey No. 13 – This release is a sourced, 10-year-old high rye bourbon that was finished in a combination of Cognac, Spanish brandy, Amontillado and Pedro Ximenez sherries. The nose is massive, initially showing lots of the sherry finish with dried red fruits, marzipan, and roasted almonds. All of that gets balanced against leathery notes, like old car seats, along with old barn floorboards, cream soda, and caramel candies. The palate is rich and oily with a perfectly integrated heat. It’s soft for the proof and immensely drinkable, showing a range of flavors from dried orchard fruits and strawberry jam, to spice cabinet and Belgian chocolate. 106 proof. A- / $99
One Eight Distilling Untitled Whiskey No. 14 – For this Untitled, One Eight took a 6-year-old wheated bourbon and finished it for an additional year in red wine barrels from Virginia’s RdV Winery that previously held a Bordeaux-style blend. The nose is like walking into a French bakery, sweet with a layer of powdered sugar and an assortment of buttered pastry, baking spice, and berry filling. The palate is a bit out of balance. At first it’s more earthy with honeyed cereals and lumberyard notes but gradually swings sweeter, becoming all cinnamon candies, chewy toffee, and a little cherry juice. The finish is generous with notes of caramel and slightly sour red fruits. 100 proof. B+ / $99
One Eight Distilling Untitled Whiskey No.15 – This Untitled started out life as a 7-year-old wheated bourbon before being finished sequentially in Ruby Port and Cognac casks. After that, it was rested in barrels that had previously held One Eight’s own District Made Rye whiskey. The nose is sultry with sweet cigar smoke, old wood, dried apricots, and cherry cordials. The palate is rich and honeyed with an almost incense-like spice component that I can’t quite place. The mid-palate sees some classic cinnamon, caramel, and clove, a little apple pie filling, and a healthy amount of damp oak and cedar cabinet notes. The finish is a touch dry, but just enough to keep me sipping. It lingers with raisin sweetness and pipe tobacco. 105 proof. A- / $99