Thursday, April 13, 2023

One Eight Distilling Untitled Whiskey No. 17

- $80
- 115.8 Proof
- 10 Years
- Batch 1
- Washington D.C.

When One Eight Distilling's Untitled Whiskeys started hitting shelves a couple years ago, they got decent enough hype that I certainly became curious. I remember seeing private select single barrels, and their batches, such as this one, had some incredible finishing combinations, usually with bright, fruity and rich finishes such as sherry, port or cognac. What I had up to this point was all really good and, at the very least, really interesting.

It wasn't long after that initial run that I picked up this bottle, Untitled Whiskey No. 17.  This one is a blend of a 10 year old wheated bourbon that was finished in rum, Calvados and Cognac casks along with a 14 year high rye bourbon finished in Amontillado sherry butt. That's a whole lot going on inside this bottle. I wasn't sure if it would all work together or if it would be too much, but I was certainly willing to find out!

The nose on this was impressively rich. I feel like I use that word a lot in these blog posts, but this is quite possibly the richest nose I've ever nosed, bull of dark chocolate mixed with various dark fruits, including blackberry and cherry, fig and raisin, and even plum. It even had a bit of clove to it that made all those fruit notes come across like a spiced wine.  I couldn't get enough of this nose. I want to make a candle out of it!

While the flavor was very rich itself, it seemed that the spicy notes came through a bit more. I definitely got the dark fruit notes. Blackberry and dark cherry seemed prevalent, even with a bit of a sour note accompanying that cherry flavor.  

But, what took center stage was the spice. Cinnamon and black pepper spice seemed to dominate this. At times I feel like I even got a chili pepper note. This certainly gave that spice-wine character, just heavy on the spice. Dark chocolate notes also came through, providing a bit of a backbone and somewhat tempering the spice notes.

Towards the back end, the dark chocolate notes carried through as the cinnamon and black pepper subsided a bit. I also got some nutty, earthy notes, like walnut and almond. And it was on the finish that the sweetness came through, kind of a molasses note.

There was a lot of really good "stuff" happening here. I liked those wine notes, the dark fruit notes, and the dark chocolate notes.  Something about this blend, however, just didn't quite work. I'm not sure if one of the finishes had more influence than others. Perhaps it's the rum finish that I didn't like, as I have yet to find a rum finished rye or bourbon I've liked. But there was something about this that just didn't work, just didn't quite bring all of those great flavors together into something cohesive. 

Grade: B-

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