Whisky Connosr

High West Double

Old Bottle of Young Vatted Rye

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@VictorReview by @Victor

15th Nov 2013


High West Double
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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High West Double RYE is a whiskey vatting, in unspecified proportions, of a 2 YO Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana 95% rye, 5% malted barley rye and a Barton 16 YO 53% rye, 37% corn, 10% malted barley rye. The reviewed bottle # 1033 from batch # 3, has been open 2 1/2 years, is 95% full, and has been preserved with inert gas for the last 13 months. This review is of the bottle at present

Nose: in the early days of this bottle the nose was mostly about spice from rye grain; now there is a huge amount of dark rye fruitiness with floral overtones, and the spicing is less pronounced. Gaining fruitiness with time and air can occur with any rye whiskey, but it is especially pronounced with LDI ryes. I would say that this nose is now very smooth, mellow, and gentle, having rounded over time. Very pleasant and very mild, albeit with the usual baking spice flavours of rye grain, cinnamon/cassia, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and black pepper

Taste: Wow! I am amazed. This bottle set for 2 1/2 years 95% full because it didn't draw me strongly...but,...like many rye whiskeys this one has blossomed in a very big way with a huge amount, read 2 to 2 1/2 years, of air. I have seen this before, several times, with Old Overholt Rye, with Bulleit 95 Rye, and with Van Winkle Rye. The palate now tastes to me very fruity, most like the LDI ryes, but with some influence from the Barton distillate. Like the nose, this is flavourful and mellow, fruity and spicy. Wood flavours are present, but well integrated and not centerstage. This is mellow and very enjoyable

Finish: the palate flavours just sit there a very long time, retaining their good qualities

Balance: as High West Ryes go, the Double Rye is the most basic. This bottle started off quite dry and spicy and then evolved into something much more fruity and with more sweetness. For the first 2 years I would have rated this whiskey around 84 points. I like this particular bottle of this particular batch of High West Double Rye most at present. This is a fairly reasonably priced bottle, but I would be reluctant to wait 2+ years for another bottle to ripen up to this degree in the future. Remember, this score is for the whiskey after you've given it 2 1/2 years

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jerryclyde commented

As always, a great review - and educational. I noticed that your review is ten years old and was wondering how that bottling compares to the present one offered by the distillery, the Double Rye!: (with the exclamation mark). I just finished off a bottle and was a bit underwhelmed given all the good things I've heard about this expression..

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

Victor commented

@jerryclyde hello, and thank you for your kind words.

I think that there has been a good bit of variation in the various batches over the years in High West Double Rye Whiskey, just as there tends to be a good deal of variation in almost all large volume frequent release basic products from all distillers. I would not count on consistency with this one. I think that most batches fall somewhere between "pretty good" and "very good". As you read in this review I didn't find this reviewed bottle to be very desirable until it had taken over 2 years of air exposure.

Would I buy a bottle of High West Double Rye now? Sure I would if I had no rye whiskey on hand. I'd consider it a 50/50 bet that I'd like it immediately, with the other 50% that I would probably need to nurse it in the back of my cabinet for a couple of years.

Cheers, @jerryclyde! .

about one year ago 0

jerryclyde commented

Thanks, Victor. Looks like my rye anxiety is over. My younger son just sent me a bottle of Willett Straight Rye (54.4%) 4 yo. Look forward to this one.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?