Washington, D.C.’s One Eight Distilling is out with another edition in their Untitled whiskey line, No. 17. Fans of the brand may be wondering how No. 17 was released after last year’s No. 18. No, distiller Alex Laufer isn’t bad at math (I don’t think). When asked, he told me there was no good reason why they chose to release No. 17 now. It’s been a year, folks, so we’ll consider that a perfectly acceptable answer. As for the makeup of this release, Untitled No. 17 is a combination of 10-year-old wheated bourbon finished in rum (three different kinds), Calvados, and Cognac casks and a 14 year old high-rye bourbon finished in an Amontillado sherry butt. That sounds like quite the marriage of flavors. Let’s dig in!
The nose on this whiskey is deep and sultry, with savory notes of worn leather, old books, and antique furniture accented with a bit of golden raisin and bitter dark fruit, bordering on aromatized wine. There’s lots of damp basement here, but in a good way. It’s soulful and complex. The palate is rich with stewed red fruits, both sweet and sour, alongside a bit of tinned orchard fruit. Clove-studded orange and berry compote ad brightness, while a contrasting bit of baking chocolate and light roast coffee bean introduce richness and a touch a taste-bud puckering astringency. All those different cask finishes have really come together in a unique and surprisingly harmonious way to offer a whiskey that is quite wine-forward yet still retains the spice, sweetness, and sizeable body of the underlying spirit. The finish is generous and smoldering with berry pie, a bit of sweet pipe tobacco, and more of that bittersweet balance, almost reminiscent of a fine whiskey cocktail. One of my favorite Untitled releases to date.
A / $80 / oneeightdistilling.com