Driftless Glen Young Rye has completely impressed me for a few reasons. First off, the whiskey is remarkably flavorful and aromatic for its youth. Secondly, they don’t try to hide what the product is, they put it directly in the name. Thirdly, I like the way they think. Their ethos and how they talk about the whiskey on their site is refreshing:
“Driftless Glen Young Rye is the first whiskey our distillery has bottled. Our Young Rye is 75% rye. We chose to bottle at cask strength to preserve the flavors of a young product.
Each barrel of rye that is bottled is hand picked. We don’t believe in cut and dry age statements or proofs, rather we rely on taste. Every Friday the team at DG taste a number of barrels and only 1 or 2 are selected for bottling. Our distillers hand write on each label which batch your whiskey is from to keep to our hand crafted beliefs.
We hope that the complexity of flavors in our Young Rye will serve as a preview of what’s to come with our longer aging whiskeys.”
I do wish they’d given the rest of the mashbill for the Driftless Glen Young Rye but reading the rest of that put a smile on my face.
Preserving the Driftless Glen Young Rye at full cask strength to show off what they’re doing was a great move, especially as water killed this thing quickly. Making a conscious effort to taste and release things when they’re ready might be time consuming, but it’s a good way to put your best foot forward while they prep for the future of what I hope is more great whiskey.
Driftless Glen Young Rye Info
Region: Wisconsin, USA
Distiller: Driftless Glen
Mashbill: 75% rye + Corn + Malted Barley
Cask: New charred oak
Age: 13 Months
Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Driftless Glen Young Rye Review
Fruity, coppery, vanilla, butterscotch, blueberry muffins and a touch of dill, orange peel and allspice. It’s light, but remarkably good despite its obvious youth.
Fruity, dilly spice, orange marmalade, biscuity and a juniper-like herbal nature with some light notes of allspice, butterscotch and hazelnuts. Like the aroma it’s light despite the cask strength, which as a great move on their part as water tears apart this whiskey quickly.
Medium dissolve of herbal spice, fruit, dill and orange marmalade.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Remarkably decent balance for something so young. A medium body and soft warm feel round it out nicely.
For a young whiskey Driftless Glen Young Rye remarkably tasty and alluring. The fruitiness of the aroma, palate and finish are what you’d expect from a young high-rye whiskey, but the darker sweeter flavors and aromas are rather remarkable for something this young. I would have pegged this as being closer to two years with how much of that is coming through and there’s very little of that “craft sawdust” note I usually get in young small barrel whiskies.
Still lacks depth and structure, but a damn good start and I’m a bit surprised at how much I’m liking it. I also like how they call it out in the name, Driftless Glen Young Rye, and don’t try to hide what it is – a work in progress. Tasty whiskey, transparency and thoughtfulness toward the future are all reasons why this is another addition to the craft folks to keep an eye on and yet another example of why this is such an exciting segment of the market to watch.
SCORE: 81/100 (B-)
*Disclosure: This Driftless Glen Young Rye was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Driftless Glen Young Rye Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 81
- Palate - 81
- Finish - 81
- Balance, Body & Feel - 81
Driftless Glen Young Rye is remarkably good for its age.