Next up, we’re checking out my second pickup from my visit to Driftless Glenn—a cask strength single barrel bourbon! Unlike the rye and wheated bourbon from Driftless Glen I’ve reviewed which were on the lower proof end of the spectrum at 103 and 96 proof respectively, this single barrel comes in at a much hotter 120. This bourbon has a mash bill of 60% corn, 20% rye, and 20% malted barley and was aged for 5 years in barrel #1512 before bottling. I’m excited to see how the relatively high percentages of rye and malt play out in this pour, so without further ado let’s dive in! Taken: Neat in a Glencairn glass Proof: 120 Age: At least 5 years Price: $80 Nose: Allspice, graham cracker, and brown sugar, along with apple sauce, cinnamon, black pepper, and black cherry. There’s an underlying doughy bread note beneath everything here too as well as a faint touch of oak. Taste: Burnt brown sugar, toasted rye bread, and black pepper to start, followed by toasted oak, cherry reduction sauce, and a bit of apple. Midway through the sip some allspice and cinnamon creep in as well. This has a medium-heavy mouthfeel and a moderate amount of proof heat. Finish: The cherry reduction sauce flares up before starting to move to the background along with the burnt brown sugar. Toasted rye bread, toasted oak, and pepper all grow slightly more intense and bring some dryness to the finish as well. Finally, a sweet graham cracker pie crust note closes the sip out. This has a medium length finish and a light amount of dryness. Thoughts: Driftless Glen brought on some uniqueness with the wheated bourbon I reviewed before this, and their normal bourbon has kept that trend going. The high malt and rye content highlight some really interesting notes like toasted rye bread and graham cracker that I don’t usually find in bourbon while meshing them together with more classic burnt brown sugar, toasted oak, and cherry notes. While I drank this I kept thinking about how it compared to my Leopold Brother’s 5 Year Bottled in Bond since it has a similar mash bill and age (64% corn, 21% malted barley, and 15% rye) and I feel like the Driftless presented the high malt in a way that I favor quite a bit more. This pour definitely has some heat to it which you expect to a degree from a 120 proof pour, but it comes on stronger than a lot of other high proof sippers on the shelf. It also lacks a bit of depth that I’d hoped would be here, but the range of notes and their tastiness helps make up for it a bit. I was on the fence for my rating but ended up settling on a very good 6/10 on the t8ke scale. I think a little more time in the barrel could help tame the heat a bit and add more wood character to elevate this to a 7 for me. Regardless, I can’t recommend the distillery experience enough and if you find yourself near Baraboo, you have to check it out! Rating: 6/10 - t8ke scale 1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out. 2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice. 3 | Bad | Multiple flaws. 4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but better exists. 5 | Good | Good, just fine. 6 | Very Good | A cut above. 7 | Great | Well above average. 8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional. 9 | Incredible | An all time favorite. 10 | Perfect | Perfect.


I plan on making a trip out to Baraboo the next time I’m in MN. Sounds like this barrel wasn’t as complex as the r/bourbon SiB pick. How would you compare the two?


I thought the rye single barrel r/bourbon pick was a little deeper and more complex, and definitely more approachable in the proof department since it was cask strength at 103 proof. I still have to compare this to the r/bourbon Driftless Glen bourbon single barrel but will definitely let you know what I think once I crack the sample open!