Whisky Advocate

Review: High West Rendezvous Rye Whiskey

August 1st, 2008

High West Rendezvous Rye, Batch No. 10, 46%, $45
A blend of two rye whiskies, a 6 year old made from 95% rye and a 16 year old made from 80% rye. These are very high percentages of rye, even for a straight rye whisky which only needs to contain 51% rye to meet the definition. It was very clever to marry the vibrancy of a younger whiskey with the depth of a mature whisky. Thanks to the high rye content, this whisky is very spicy, with cinnamon, crisp mint and fennel. Underlying sweet notes of caramel, molasses, vanilla, macaroon, cocoa, and candied fruit provide a calming effect and enhance the whiskey’s complexity. But, in the end, the rye is the victor, emerging with a vengeance and giving the whisky a bold, warming spice finish. Great price, compared to other premium rye whiskeys.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 95

17 Responses to “Review: High West Rendezvous Rye Whiskey”

  1. sam k says:

    WHOA! A new rye brand emerges during a severe rye drought! Who makes this (distillery, if you know it), and where can I get some? I find it extremely gratifying that rye whiskey has been pulled back from the brink of extinction at the eleventh hour. Most of the few traditional brands left were OK but not stellar, and now we are beginning to experience the potential that rye whiskey exhibited more than a century ago, during it’s heyday.

    Thanks for the review. It’s going to be a great Friday!

  2. sam k says:

    P.S. This price shows how other distillers are taking advantage of the market by charging exorbitant prices well above a reasonable profit margin. Nothing wrong with that (I guess), but it shows that money can still be made in this business without pandering to the wealthy or gouging the rest of us.

    Thanks, High West, whoever you are!

  3. Tony Menechella says:

    High West is the ditillery, and it appears that it’s in Utah. So far, I’ve only seen it located out West. It sounds very delicious, and I too would like to get a bottle!! I also like the attractive price of it!!

  4. John Hansell says:

    Sam, High West is a distillery in Park City, Utah. They have no whiskey of their own yet. In the interim they sourced some other whiskey to bottle and sell. David Perkins, the proprietor, tells me that he worked with Jim Rutledge from Four Roses to source the casks. That’s all I know.

    I know that K&L in San Francisco sells the whiskey. I imagine they ship, too.

  5. John: thanks for the very kind review. I am very glad you liked our blend. As far as availability, two mail order retailers carry Rendezvous: K&L and Hi Time Wines. Or better yet please come visit us in Utah where we can now sell you a bottle directly at our distillery. We just changed the law in Utah yesterday! Best regards, David

  6. Neyah White says:

    To Sam K’s point: You are dead on there, an honest whiskey (no chill filtering, no caramel color, nice ABV) at an honest price.

    As a barman, I cannot resist the urge to mix a few drinks with new spirits in this ‘reasonable’ price range. I can say quite happily that the Rendevous holds quite firm in cocktails when the use of sugar is restrained. A beautiful bottle.

  7. sam k says:

    Because of their lack of presence in many markets (including here in PA), it would seem that Four Roses (with some lip smackin’ whiskeys in their portfolio) was the perfect choice as the initial source for High West Rendezvous. Can’t wait to taste some! Congratulations, David!

  8. John Hansell says:

    Sam, I’m not saying that the whiskeys came from Four Roses, but only that Jim Rutledge helped to source the casks. Let’s just leave it at that.

    And I will say that, after talking with David, I expect High West to be a “player” for quite some time. Indefinetely, actually. Great news for everyone.

  9. […] High West Rendezvous Rye, Batch No. 10 ~ $45 MA Rating: 95 […]

  10. Cheryl S. says:

    This whiskey is one of the things that makes me really glad to be in Utah. It’s incredibly good. I hope that the whiskey they’re currently distilling will be as good.

  11. John Hansell says:

    Cheryl, time will tell. In the interim, I know for a fact that they have stocks of whiskey to last for quite a while.

  12. Joe Stone says:

    It’s too bad they completely mislead people in more ways than one. Not only is this not bottled in Park City, but their “Vodka 7000″ has nothing to do with 7000. Park City has nothing to do with this place at the moment. It seems really dishonest to advertise Park City but to operate in Salt Lake City.

  13. John Hansell says:

    Joe, I can’t comment on that. All I know is that he purchased stocks of whiskey until he can make his own.

  14. Chris Dombos says:

    Hello, Joe,

    Thanks for the comment. We are only distilling in our Salt Lake City warehouse in the interim while our flagship facility is being built in Old Town Park City. The “Vodka 7000″ name is based on the elevation of our facility in Park City at 7000 feet in the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains. Our Park City Distillery will open in the early summer of 2009. This info is also stated on all of our marketing materials that we distribute. We are in no way attempting to be deceptive. If you are local or in town, please stop by during our normal business hours at our Salt Lake City facility (address is on our website) to find out more and pick up a bottle of either our whiskey or vodka. Many thanks.

  15. Joe Stone says:

    Chris,
    Your packaging says it’s made in Park City, how can you justify saying a product is made in Park City when it’s not?

  16. taylor sandstrom says:

    Joe, why are you complaining about this?
    On the bottle it say’s they are restoring a building in Park City where the products will be made, in the mean time , in order to launch the business they are operating in a temporary facility.

    More importantly is the quality being produced here, the blending of two fantastic ryes with local water is making a beautiful rye. Try some you will be converted.

    I am proud to say that I have purchased a bottle from each of the first eleven bottlings. Consistent excellence. I look forward to trying the Reserve.

    Thanks David Perkins for making such a beautiful rye.

  17. […] as the flagship “Rendezvous Rye” from High West (Which I rated a 95 in an earlier review here), but I could drink this stuff all day […]

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