The Driftless Glen Distillery is in Wisconsin, along the Baraboo River. They describe the area on their website as a bountiful region with peat bogs, sandy soil and a very good aquifer supplying them with their water. They have a 44-foot column still with a pot still doubler. Their rye is 75% rye and aged in new American oak barrels. They don’t give any more detail than that about the whiskey. It would be nice to know such things as the full mash bill, barrel entry proof, and barrel size, but they still offer more information than many brands.
The bottle I am tasting is from Batch 3 and bottled by Nate. It is 6 months old and bottled at 96 proof. The bottle is a box-shaped body with embossing of the name of the distillery and on the sides, a thumb and fingerprint – I assume from the owner of the distillery. It is an attractive package but the whiskey inside is even better. I like this whiskey and I am going to have to look for a bottle of their Bourbon for review as well.
Driftless Glen Rye Whiskey
Age: 6 months old
Nose: Ryegrass, floral notes of apple blossoms and honeysuckle with vanilla and sweet oak.
Taste: Ryegrass, apples and vanilla with a little baking spice – nutmeg or mace, and a little sweet oak wood. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the apple becomes a very ripe and sweet apple with vanilla and oak. The spice recedes into the far distance with only the slightest hint of nutmeg. Tasted with the pecan and the flavor really changes. It becomes strong coffee with French vanilla creamer. No fruit or spice and only a hint of oak.
Finish: Long and dry with sweet oak wood and baking spices. The cranberry made the finish shorter and sweeter with lingering apple and oak. The pecan lengthened the finish with coffee and oak flavors that were dry, but not overly so.
I am pairing this rye with a Nub Maduro cigar. I think the vanilla and a hint of coffee note of the smoke will pair well with this rye. I found the rye gave the smoke a little dried fruit sweetness with lots of vanilla and cedar spice. The smoke made the rye very fruity with apples and baking spice that turned into a peppery finish. I like this pairing.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller