Whisky Advocate

Review: High West Double Rye

January 28th, 2011

High West Double Rye, 46%, $35

A blend of two straight whiskeys: a very young 2 year old high rye content whiskey and a 16 year old rye whiskey with a lower rye content. Perhaps the spiciest American whiskey I have ever tasted, yet at the same time, quite tame and mellow. Complex notes of mint, clove, cinnamon, licorice root, pine nuts, and dark chocolate, with a surprising dose of gin botanicals throughout. A soft underbelly of caramel, sweet corn, and soothing vanilla provides an interesting counterpoint. Very easy-drinking, too (hard to believe it’s 46%). Intriguing, and a must-try for rye whiskey aficionados — even if only to satisfy your curiosity.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 90

14 Responses to “Review: High West Double Rye”

  1. sam k says:

    David Perkins strikes again! Can’t wait to get my hands on a bit of this, as everything else I’ve had of his, both sourced and self-produced, has been top notch.

  2. Rick Duff says:

    Sounds really good! Any idea of availability?

  3. Jason Pyle says:

    Great review John. I really enjoyed this one also. When you factor in the price and the “unique” factor from flavor standpoint – this one is just fantastic. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a whiskey that tasted that much of gin and green, fresh flavors.

    I’ve really enjoyed how David Perkins and the folks from High West consistently put out excellent Rye Whiskeys and blends with great rye forward flavors. “Unique” can be an overused term, but many of their whiskeys would definitely quality. Double Rye certainly does.

    I believe they started selling it at their general store at the distillery earlier this month and hopefully it will start hitting shelves soon. I think they wanted to get it out before the end of the year but that must not have happened. Hopefully soon.

  4. lawschooldrunk says:

    I found rittenhouse rye 100 proof spicier.

  5. John Hansell says:

    I have really been enjoying the different varieties of whiskey he’s been putting out. So much fun.

    • Red_Arremer says:

      How does it work that the spiciest American whiskey is also quite tame and mellow? Sounds promising, but having trouble wrapping my head around that.

      • Jason Pyle says:

        Red, not John but since I have had it I thought I might chime in. John describes the whiskey much better than I did, but picture really forward gin flavors, fresh green herbal notes and mint. Those things are spicy in the sense that they are in fact spices, but not heat and bite. The whiskey comes off as a whole very light with well defined green herbal spice flavors. If you should try it this will immediately make sense. If found very prevalent honey flavors also that anchored everything.

      • John Hansell says:

        It’s spicy and mellow at the same time. Not big and bold like some of his other offerings.

  6. roger emigh says:

    Is the 2yo Rye some actual High West whisky? I really like the Rendezvous Rye, how does this Double Rye compare to it?

    • sam k says:

      Roger, I don’t think any of their ryes are their own…yet, but I can’t wait until they’re ready for our enjoyment!

    • Jason Pyle says:

      The 2 year old and 16 year olds in this one are both sourced and not made at HW. The 2 year old is from LDI in Indiana. 95 percent rye mah bill also. The 16 in this one is 53 percent rye and not the same 16 year old in Rendezvous. In essence this isn’t Rendezvous Rye light. Totally different.

    • sam k says:

      Maybe that 2 year old from LDI is the equivalent of Redemption, also a 95% rye mashbill?

      • Jason Pyle says:

        To to my knowledge, LDI only produces a 95% rye. And Redemption is a 2 year old rye from LDI. So more than likely the same stuff. But that’s just a guess.

        • mashbill says:

          Just check the LDI website to view their Rye mashbill. If only Beam/Trace/HH/Turkey/Barton/B-F were as transparent as LDI and Four Roses. Once the boomers are all gone and Kentucky is faced with a cynical, more questioning client base, things may change.

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