Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
You say Utah, I say… distillery? No, it’s not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when considering this particular southwestern state.
Eight Settlers Distillery is named for the history of the area the distillery is in. The distillery is located in Cottonwood Heights, a town that goes back to the nineteenth century (though at that time it was called Butlerville). It was settled by eight families – thus, Eight Settlers.
The distillery is accompanied by a similarly-themed restaurant, with each of the dining rooms paying homage to a different element of the history of the area. Founders Katia and Radu Dugala are no newcomers to any part of the industry. Before starting Eight Settlers they had a bar and restaurant in California, as well as having a prior business in Utah. Radu’s distilling ambition and training started early, when he learned with his grandfather as a child in Romania.
Ragtown is classified as an American whiskey, not falling into any more specific category. According to the distillery, it’s a blend of two straight American whiskeys. The blending and bottling is all done at Eight Settlers’ distillery, though the spirits themselves are distilled in Indiana (one can presume that makes this an MGP product).
The name comes from yet another location in the history of Utah settlers. Ragtown was a refuge for many hardworking early pioneers. It was the midpoint stop between Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon, making in the stop between mines and city. The necessity for a rest stop between the two created the little hamlet of Ragtown, with just a few homes and stores. As any commuter or road-tripper knows, these little stops are absolutely essential, especially in the wide expanse of the American West.
Something else that’s absolutely essential for road trips and the American West? American whiskey.
Tasting Notes: Eight Settlers Ragtown American Whiskey
Vital Stats: 45% ABV; aged minimum 3 years; 750mL
Appearance: Few, scattered, uneven legs, light blonde, clear
Nose: Highly aromatic. Creamy, honeyed citrus, chamomile tea, lemon cookies
Palate: Soft, a little heavier texture. Extremely light in flavor, with a note of honey. Some of the citrus from the nose comes into back palate, pairing a crispness with a touch of spice. After a lingering finish, there’s a punchy burst of something bright and fruity, reminiscent of both peach and grapefruit.