Hailing from Cottonwood Heights, Utah, Eight Settlers Distillery recently released their inaugural whiskeys: Devil’s Gate Bourbon Whiskey and Ragtown American Whiskey.
But before we get to the offerings, it’s worth a quick gander at the Eight Settlers Distillery establishment, which is a restaurant and distillery nestled in between some idyllic mountain views.
Founded in 2020 by Katia and Radu Dugala, Eight Settlers was inspired by the rich history of Cottonwood Heights, an area first settled in the 1800s by eight families… [the distillery and restaurant] is the culmination of a longtime dream to build a distillery and share the finest local foods with our community. Eight Settlers is a blend of the 1850’s traditional vintage western style with a modern twist of the second industrial revolution. The Chef’s inspiration for the menu is Modern American with traditional twists, while the spirits are distilled and blended to the highest standards with the best grains available.
Their spirits portfolio includes whiskey, vodka, and gin. Today we are going to zoom in on the two whiskeys. Both start with undisclosed source distillates with unknown age statements, then are aged and blended respectively onsite.
Let’s dive in.
Eight Settlers Devil’s Gate Bourbon – The nose is rather delicate and almost floral, with citrus-forward sweetness followed by vanilla creme sandwich cookies and Halloween candy corns. These sweet notes almost mask the hint of cinnamon spice. The palate is a bit more crude, greeted initially with bite of grain alcohol followed by bitterness of raw cocoa powder and leather. Underneath are gentle notes of creamy caramel and wafer cookies, but the whiskey never seems to be able to get out fully from under all that grit. At a higher proof this may present itself as just pure burn, but is probably its best self at the current bottling proof of 90. This is a peculiar one; it presents pretty extreme points in the spectrum of bitter oak and sweet candy, yet is neither overly bitter nor too sweet. This could be one of those yin-yang moments where a precariously balanced harmony is unexpectedly achieved. The finish lands on neutral ground, with just pleasant traces of dusty oak, sweet vanilla, and toasted corn. Uncanny all around. 90 proof. B / $51
Eight Settlers Ragtown Blended Whiskey – The nose on this blended whiskey is also rather perfumy, with the floral notes achieving heady bouquet of roses, rife with berries and juniper. A novel introduction for a whiskey. The palate starts much sweeter than the bourbon, with juicy orange soda as the key note over cinnamon sticks and mint. There are notes of rye and cherry syrup that settle into the finish, landing on a rotation of dry cinnamon and wheat cereal. This leans on the sweeter side with an interesting spicy kick that warrants an ice cube or three to make it a lingering sipper and is probably ideal in a cocktail. While a bit peculiar, it also makes for a fun, if occasional pour. Especially if your view while sipping it is of the rugged range of the valleys in Utah. 90 proof. B / $60