Branch on Fire: Driftless Glen Straight Rye Single Barrel

I bought this one by accident. Seriously. I meant to grab a store pick from the same distillery and did not notice that this bottle was in the wrong row. With that being said, not exactly a horrible mistake.

Driftless Glen is a craft distillery in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Never heard of Baraboo? Me neither. It is northwest of Madison, up not too far from the Wisconsin Dells. And, I recently learned, they source their grain from Teutopolis, IL, an hour from my hometown.

The Single Barrel Rye has won a few awards, including a gold medal best in class at Whiskies of the World in 2021 and Double Gold in the San Francisco Spirits Competition the same year. Not too shabby.

This version checks in at 96 proof. They also have a cask strength rye. It is aged 55 months, according to the label, which also tells you the name of the guy who bottled it and the barrel number.

Taste Notes: Less spice than I am use to in a rye. The mash bill looks to be 75 percent rye and 25 percent barley. Considering a lot of ryes are 95/5, this being tame on the spice makes sense. It is a rye for the bourbon drinker. The website says notes of cherry and dark chocolate, but I don’t get much cherry, which is a good thing as I’m not a huge fan of cherry. I even skip them occasionally in an old fashion. Sacrilege, I know. If there are notes of dark chocolate, it is more of a creamy mouth feel that dampens the rye spice, which only subtly shows up after the swallow. I actually get more vanilla than dark chocolate.

All said and done, not a bad bottle for a bad price. But my collection is a little out of control, so it is likely I don’t circle back around to purchasing this bottle again.

Retail price for a bottle is $39.99.

Rating: 88

Whiskey Ratings

95: Lagavulin 16
93: Lagavulin 11 Offerman Edition, Peerless Double Oak
92: Jefferson’s Reserve Very Old
91–George Remus 2020 Cask Strength (A1 pick), Glenfiddich Fire & Cane
90: High West Campfire, Few Rye, Knob Creek Small Batch 100
89: Old Forester Rye, Knob Creek Brown Butter 120 (A1 Pick)
88: Buffalo Trace, Oban Night’s Watch, Driftless Glen Single Barrel Rye
87: Breckenridge Bourbon
86: Indiana Whiskey Just Whiskey Cask Strength
85: Wolfburn Aurora, Jameson Stout Edition
83: Buchanan’s Deluxe 12
1: Jameson Orange. Yeah, I said it.

Gin Ratings

88: Dogfish Head Compelling Gin

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