Following yesterday’s review of their 21 yo, here is another rye from High West, this time their Double Rye. With an age statement this would be a 2 yo: it is a blend of a 2 yo from a 95% rye, 5% barley mashbill and a 16 yo with a “barely legal” 53% rye, 37% corn, 10% barley mashbill. Not sure of the proportions but this is a similar concept in many ways to their Rendezvous Rye but with a younger whisky at one end (6 yo in the case of the Rendezvous) and a lower rye mashbill at the other end (the 16 yo used in the Rendezvous was 80% rye).
Well, let’s see what this is like.
High West Double Rye (46%; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: An interesting nose, with obvious rye notes (dill) but also richer, warmer notes of orange, leather and even a bit of ginger in place of the usual cinnamon/clove complex. At least at first. With a bit of airing there’s a fair bit of pine/eucalyptus and a sweetness somewhere between sappy, rooty and herbal. But the aromas are still pretty “warm” rather than the usual rye “cool”. A couple of drops of water bring out more (powdered) ginger.
Palate: More bite and brightness on the palate with the dill joined by pine and clove and some mint. But the orange is here too as is the sweetness (gingery, junipery). Not a whole lot of development with time; let’s see what water does. Not much, actually. A long while later this has become a fairly straightforward rye.
Finish: Medium. The wood emerges on the finish and is just a touch too astringent. Water pushes the wood back and brings out some herbal bitterness instead.
Comments: I really liked the nose but the palate and finish provided diminishing returns. Still, of all the ryes I’ve had (not that many) this is the least like the others. It would probably make a very interesting Manhattan.
Rating: 84 points.
Thanks to Michael K. for the sample!