Tag Archives: High West

High West Double Rye

                                                                              As  our readers know, we here at Talking Bourbon are big fans of all things High West. Thus it came as a surprise that we had not reviewed their Double Rye. We have drank it many times and were positive we had included it in the blog at some point, we were wrong.

High West Double Rye is, like most everything from High West, a blend. In this case a blend of young and old Rye sourced from multiple distilleries.  It is bottled at 92 proof, sells for around $30, comes in a cool looking corked bottle like all the rest of High West and is widely available.  TB could not get an exact age statement, just that the younger Rye was at least 2 years old.

Long time friend of TB’s, Shelly, is our guest taster today. Shelly was originally a beer person, having lived in Germany, and slowly migrated to wine. Lately though, she has found  a taste for Bourbon.

NOSE

Shelly:  Smooth and mellow nose with nothing over powering. I get a little spice, some grain, vanilla and walnut. I also pick up some traces of honey and banana.

TB:      A big bold scent of Rye dominates, reminiscent of Bulleit Rye. Some secondary aromas include citrus, grain and an oily almond type scent. Strangely,  get a slight whiff of pineapple and ginger.

TASTE

Shelly:     Wood, nuts and spice, not necessarily in that order jump out at me. Behind that I pick up some honey and a taste that reminds me of a humidor. Adding my own take to the strange department, I get a scent of juniper.

TB:    Get the wood, spice and nuts that Shelly talked about along with strong Rye. Just slightly behind that is citrus, smoke and a slight sherry flavor. Very good.

FINISH

Shelly:    Medium-long, sweet on the tongue and warm going down.

TB:     Agree,  medium-long with a nice sweetness.

OVERALL

Shelly:    High West Double Rye is a winner. Great bang for the buck. I would buy it!

TB:    High West delivers again. Will definitely keep a bottle in the cabinet.

Nose      4.5 out of 5

Taste      9 out of 10

Finish     3.5 out of 5

Total score           17 out of 20 barrels.

A great Rye at a great price, who cares if it is blended and sourced out of different distilleries. All that matters is taste, nose, finish and price. On all but the finish, this stuff shines. And the finish was not bad, just not overly complex. Great straight, on the rocks and as a mixer of Bourbon style cocktails. At the somewhat low price point you won’t feel bad using it as a mixer.

Final verdict, Go out and get a bottle of High West Double Rye and treat yourself to a very good drink.

High West Son of Bourye

High West Son of Bourye                                                                                                As readers of this blog know, we are big High West fans. We know they don’t distill most of their juice themselves but who cares, its usually good and in the end that’s what matters, at least to us.

Son of Bourye is a blend of a Rye that has a mash bill of 95% Rye and 5% barley that is blended with a Bourbon with  a mash bill of 75 % corn, 20% Rye and 5% barley. It is packaged in the same tall, cool looking old fashioned corked bottles as all the High West Whiskeys.  It comes bottled at 92 proof and sells for around $47 and is somewhat available. Both the Rye and the Bourbon are aged at least 5 years.

Side note, just like the original Bourye, a lot of the juice comes from Four Roses. Also, while they call it Bourye, a blend of Bourbon and Rye, you can do the math with mash bill proportions and see that this is really just a Rye.

NOSE

Todd:   Was not blown away, smelled slightly hot with nothing really jumping out as a dominate smell. But I did get a lot of aromas, all just kind of in the background. They included cinnamon, clove, cocoa, plum and yeast. Also a very slight bit of ethanol.

Ron:  Agree with the nose smelling a little hot, a small, melted cube took care of that. I then got nice aromas of oak, clove, grain and spicy Rye.  Slightly behind that was anise and the cinnamon that Todd got.

TASTE

Todd:   Too hot for my taste, not impressed neat, it really needs ice or water. After things calmed down I got pepper and Rye up front with almonds, citrus, cinnamon and a slight bitterness.

Ron:  Unlike Todd, I found it not as hot as I expected from the nose. Spice, Rye and oak upfront followed by anise, and clove. After the ice had melted some, slight bits of cinnamon and cherry emerged.

FINISH

Todd:   Medium to medium-long with a slight burn on the tongue and a faint taste of caramel. Not a lot going on with the finish.

Ron:   Great warm, medium-long finish with hints of Rye and cherries.

OVERALL

Todd:  A decent drink but at a little too high of a price. That is the first time I have thought that about a High West product. They say the age is at least 5 years, I would guess from the lack of complexity that is right at 5 years. $47 is too much in my mind to pay for just a 5 year old Whiskey.

Ron:  A very tasty Whiskey but maybe it is slightly overpriced for the experience. I liked it better than Todd.

Nose     3.75 out of 5

Taste      7.5 out of 10

Finish     3.75 out of 5

Total score       15 out of 20 Barrels

Well we were somewhat hard on our beloved High West, we guess there’s a first time for everything. It was not that is was bad, just not enough going on to justify the price. The price also makes it un-conducive as a mixer, even though it does make a good cocktail. We recommend you try some other High West Whiskey, most are very good.

One final thought, we were so surprised by our reaction to Son of Bourye that we questioned our taste buds. This was Todd’s bottle, Ron has one as well that we sampled a few weeks ago and thought we enjoyed drinking his a bit more. We are going to taste Ron’s again, possibly side to side with Todd’s.  It was a bottle from last years issue, so that just may be the difference. If anything changes we will update the post.

 

 

High West American Prairie

high-west-american-prairie                                                                   High West continues to push the envelope with regard to quality and unique blends. American Prairie is a blend of 2, 6 and 13 year old Bourbons. This is not American Prairie Reserve, which received many accolades, this is the follow up.

High West American Prairie is a limited release, so it might be somewhat difficult to find, and is bottled at 92 proof in the same cool Western “style” long neck, corked bottle with air bubbles in the glass that would typically be seen in the 1800’s (or so we would believe). This is the same presentation as all of the other High West products. If you do find a bottle it should be selling for around $35.

One note, High West will donate 10% of the profits to the American Prairie Foundation.

NOSE

Todd:     Very pleasant with spiced honey, fruit, white pepper and baking spice up front. Behind this lurked a little clove, vanilla, almonds and citrus. Nice!

Ron:    Great clean nose with plum, pepper, fruit, almonds and raisin. This is followed by slight scents of cedar, grass and honey.

TASTE

Todd:   Again the baking spice, white pepper and citrus that I got on the nose. This is followed by a little raisin, smoke and honey.

Ron:    The plum from the nose is by far the most prominent taste. Behind that is citrus, spice, honey and grass. Very good!

FINISH

Todd:  Long nutty finish with a touch of bitterness.

Ron:    Medium-long with a nice spiciness and a slight burn.

OVERALL

Todd:  Really enjoyed American Prairie, makes me sad to know it is a limited release. Also makes me want to seek out the Reserve.

Ron:    Great Bourbon! From the multiple aromas and complex taste, this is a no-brainer at $35.

Nose    4.5 out of 5

Taste     9.25 out of 10

Finish    4.25 out of 5

Total               18 out of 20 Barrels

High West continues to impress us here at Talking Bourbon. We have always been a fan and American Prairie delivers. Great drink neat or on the rocks and it’s spice would make for a good cocktail, but we would frown on you for mixing it.

If you can find a bottle of High West American Prairie, buy it! You won’t be disappointed.