High West Double Rye
This was my first dive into High West’s whiskies. I had constantly seen them on the shelf. I had heard numerous people talk about the Rendezvous Rye, so I thought I’d give it a try. Unfortunately, my local store didn’t have any of the Rendezvous, so I picked up this High West Double Rye instead. A double rye has to be better than a single rye doesn’t it? It made sense to me, so that’s why I picked it up.
After I got home with the bottle I started doing some research about this bottle and what all was going on inside of it. There is a very interesting make up to this whiskey. The distiller was looking to create something peculiar in the market, and expand his brand at the same time. So he went to work, not distilling, but blending. He ended up sourcing two very distinct ryes. One of the whiskies is a 16 year old from Barton, KY that weighs in at 53% rye in the mash bill. The other is a 2 year rye distilled by Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana. This whiskey comes in at 95% rye. He combined these two unique ryes for something very unique. That’s how it got the name High West Double Rye. Not much more to say about this whiskey, so I think it’s time to dive into the tasting and see what happens.
It’s hard to miss the High West bottles on the shelf at your local store. They are taller than the average bottle. The only one that rivals it’s height is the E.H. Taylor bottle. Not only are they tall, they always seem to be on the top shelf as well. Making them just as noticeable. At least for me. However, you might have trouble telling the blends apart from each other. Each label is unique, but you have to pay attention to the logo in the center of the label or you might accidentally pick up BOURYE, which is a bourbon – rye blend.
The label on this High West Double Rye starts up top registering the name of the brand in big bold black letters. It’s a very rustic looking label. Which fits the theme of all the logos in the center. The Double Rye logo is a silhouette of a cowboy walking through saloon doors. This makes sense because the High West Distillery in Park City, Utah is also a saloon. They did a great job theming everything together here. I really enjoy the packaging on this bottle. It’s unique and like I said, it really sets itself apart from the other whiskies on the shelf. I think we’ve talked enough about the looks, it’s time to actually get in there and taste it!
This has to be one of the most unique aromas I’ve ever smelled from a whiskey. It is incredible. Floral notes are just swirling around like I walked into the middle of an enclosed botanical garden. I even told my wife it’s like I just opened up a fresh bag of potpurri. Right off the bat I’m picking up a strong pine note. There are hints of mint swirling around as well. According to the fact sheet there are hints of eucalyptus. I can’t pick that out, but I also don’t have that scent memorized. Easily, the most fragrant whiskey I’ve ever had. So I’m excited to see what the palate has to offer.
Again those botanical notes carry over into the palate. I’m hit with a strong pine flavor, lots of mint right up front. There is a nice bit of spice towards the end. Then the High West Double Rye finishes with a little bit of honey flavored sweetness. Very complex whiskey. Truly unique, usually when I’m drinking a rye I expect to get a lot of the spice. But this has such a floral aroma to it that I’m very impressed by it’s complexity.
The finish on this High West Double Rye is very long. Much like a rich well aged bourbon. Again, that sweetness is peaking through towards the end and it’s really interesting. Just the all around experience of this whiskey has made me second guess everything I know about whiskey. Typically you know the flavors that you’re going to get. But this took the flavors of a gin and bottled them as whiskey. It’s truly one most unique flavors I’ve ever experienced.
High West Double Rye: 9/10
Ok, I’m not sure how many times I said unique in this review, but I know it was a lot. If you’re looking for a change of pace from the traditional rye whiskies out there. Then you’re gonna love this! Go out and grab a bottle right now and just take in all the notes coming off this bottle.