Driftless Glen t8ke x Seelbach’s 2020 Single Barrel Bourbon and Rye

American Whiskey Review #74 & 75: Driftless Glen t8ke x Seelbach’s 2020 Single Barrel Bourbon and Rye

Image credit to /u/t8ke from his website

Distillery: Driftless Glen

Region: Wisconsin

American Whiskey Review #74: Driftless Glen t8ke x Seelbach’s Single Barrel Bourbon

Age: 4 Years, 3 Months. Distilled on November 13, 2015. Barrelled on November 14, 2015. Bottled January 20th, 2020.

ABV: 58.0% Cask Strength

Mashbill: 60% Corn, 20% Rye, 10% Distiller’s Malt, 10% Caramel Malt

Barrel: #1416

Color: 1.5, Mahogany/Henna Notes. Non-Chill Filtered.

Nose: Aside from the standard “bourbon-y” smell, a few notes pop out. There’s some toasted nuts and toasted marshmallows. There’s a bit of citrus cleaner as well, with a very sharp note of orange extract and a bit of ethanol.

Palate: At full proof, that citrus cleaner note comes out hard and swinging. It’s a tad harsh. Fortunately, it does cool down with water though it takes a little more than I would’ve expected to do so. Once it’s calmed down, tons of ths orange notes remain and are joined by a bunch of baking spices. Clove in particular stands out quite a lot. All in all, it’s warm and soothing.

Finish: Medium to short in length. The spiced orange continues. Black pepper comes out as well.

Conclusion: If you need a whisky for a frigid cold day to warm you right up, this one might do the trick. While it takes a bit of water to reign in, once you’ve got it under control it’s a fantastically warming dram. The baking spices and oranges have such a soothing effect while spreading warmth all throughout your body. Not bad at all!

Final Score: 76.

American Whiskey Review #75: Driftless Glen t8ke x Seelbach’s Single Barrel Rye

Age: 3 Years, 11 Months. Distilled on February 3, 2016. Barrelled on February 4, 2016. Bottled January 20th, 2020.

ABV: 51.5%

Mashbill: 75% Rye, 12.5% Distiller’s Malt, 12.5% Caramel Malt

Barrel: #1827

Color: 1.5, Auburn/Polished Mahogany. Non-Chill Filtered.

Nose: It’s quite fragrant with all sorts of floral notes popping out. Violet and lavender stand out in particular. It’s almost like smelling a really nice bath bomb or a particularly fragrant bar of soap. There’s a little bit of vanilla that sneaks in as well as something that smells awfully a lot like Sharpies.

Palate: Much like the nose, at full strength it’s quite floral. The violet and lavender notes are front and center. With water, the rye spices roar to life and seemingly try to fight back the more fragrant notes. Cinnamon is the most prominent note of those spices.

Finish: Short. Floral and drying.

Conclusion: Someone was describing to me Parma Violets yesterday (which, from what I gather is a British sweet much like American Smarties only violet flavored) and I can’t help but think that this whiskey would taste an awful lot like those sweets. It’s unlike any rye whiskey I’ve ever had. The characteristic rye baking spice notes are nowhere to be seen until water is added with a rather refreshing set of floral notes taking its place. Even with water, the rye spices don’t quite win out against the strong violet and lavender notes. Quite an interesting one, one I’d almost like to have a few more of to make sure I was tasting the whisky I expected to taste.

Final Score: 72.

Final Thoughts: Thanks to /u/t8ke

for putting in the work for these barrel picks! These two are a really interesting pair of whiskies. One is almost tailor made for cold winter days while the other one might be one for having when you’re wanting to unwind and relax. I had lots of fun going through these and look forward to future picks as well!

American Whiskey Review #74 & 75, Bourbon Review #60, Rye Review #12, Whisky Network Review #338 & #339

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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