We have up until this time completely ignored High West Distillery. Not because the Park City, Utah based outfit is overtly boutiquey, or that they may be annoyingly riding the bull crap wagon that the craft whiskey industry keeps insisting upon us when they market their “artisanal” ways, nor because they have yet to sell their own whiskey. None of those things bothered me, nor did I think their blends were subpar. It really boiled down to one thing: I honestly didn’t think they were that interesting, to be frank. Their “Campfire” bottle, while it may taste just fine, seemed like just a punt of a blend by combining a Scotch, bourbon and a rye in one bottle. I pretty much disregarded the other blending efforts by David Perkins because I am too petty and fed up with the mockery the craft distilling industry has become. I counted them guilty by association. But my petty maturity level is not under examination today, High West Rendezvous Rye is. And when an SWC member brought this fine bottle for a recent club meeting, I , after nosing and tasting it, recanted my previous complaints and nearly killed him when he took the bottle away.
Rendezvous Rye is a blend of two ryes: the infamous MGP 95% rye currently found in 967 other brands and aged at 6 years, and the other, a 16 year old from Old Barton with an 80% rye, 10% corn and 10% malted barley mash bill. Bottled at a very appreciated 46% ABV and non-chill filtered, High West gives us an opportunity to taste a well-aged rye (not a whole lot of them out there) married with a lively teenager of a whiskey to keep things fun. Good idea so far. Let’s get to it.
SWC Group Review
Nose- Rye everywhere with minty grass, pine sol, herbal bouquet. Peppery, fennel. With time comes a wonderful burnt caramel sweetness with toffee flowing out of the glass. Incredible nose.
Taste- Spice blast on the tongue with spearmint sweetness. Cirtus sharp. Big and herbal. Black pepper. Mouth coating and oily.
Finish- Big punch of tingling spice, lingering and drying. Cola, chloraseptic, rye bread and copper.
Comments- New benchmark rye for us. Quintessential. Big, bold rye sharpness but balanced with just enough sweetness to woo you back. Not just a great rye, but a great whiskey.
SWC Rating – 90/100
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Contact us at SpokaneWhiskey@gmail.com