Here’s another Untitled release from the folks at One Eight Distilling in our great nation’s capital. Up until now, the Untitled series has consisted exclusively of sourced whiskey stocks, but for No. 18, the crew at One Eight decided to combine their in-house rye whiskey with one of their sourced bourbons. As a reminder, District Made Rye (formerly Rock Creek Rye) has a mashbill that includes a healthy percentage of malted rye. That whiskey makes up well over half of this blend, with a 14 year old high-rye MGP bourbon rounding out the rest. The final product is essentially a cask strength rye whiskey, albeit one with a healthy amount of corn in the recipe. Let’s check it out.
The nose is initially big and spicy with burly notes of lumberyard and old furniture. Black cherry, orange peel, and ground clove arrive as things start to open up, but even with plenty of air, there is a thick note of sweet sawdust and barrel char that never quite lets up. This isn’t altogether surprising given that well-aged MGP is often pretty wood-forward. One Eight’s rye whiskey for this blend was also aged in smaller barrels, imparting plenty of oak even at a comparably younger age. All that said, the palate is nothing like the nose. It’s bright and juicy with cinnamon candies, orange gummy slices, caramel sauce, and cherry cordial. The fruit tapers off into the finish with more spice cabinet and a bit of Almond Joy seemingly taking over for the long haul, but then a surprising burst of cherry juice arrives out of nowhere and lingers on the long, sweet finish. Not sure where all that wood went, but I’m not complaining.
I sampled both the cask strength MGP bourbon and the cask strength District Made Rye during a recent tasting event, so I can attest that One Eight has succeeded with this blend. The final product is a cut above its component whiskeys. Surprisingly easy drinking, too, even at such a high proof.
A- / $80 / oneeightdistilling.com