Sunday, December 11, 2016

High West Double Rye! Binny's Barrel Select Quady Black Muscat Finished

- $50
- 104.8 Proof
- Min. 2 years (then finished for 2 years)
- Barrel #3052

I have to admit, I may not have noticed this bottle if it weren't for the new iridescent bottles that were stiting on the shelf. They immediately caught my eye, and, upon closer inspection, I realized that these weren't normal bottles of the Double Rye!, but rather special, finished versions bottled for Binny's. I'm not familiar with the Quadry winery, nor am I really that familiar with muscat wines, but I knew that they are more "dessert" wines, like port, and I knew I wanted to give this a try.

I usually don't comment on the color of whiskeys in my posts, but in this instance, it is noteworthy. Upon pouring it into my glass I couldn't help but notice the very deep amber/burnt-orange color of this rye. The finish really influenced the color, and it really stood out from the start.

The nose is soft and fruity, like dried apricots, mixed with vanilla. Quite frankly, it smelled like it was going to be great, sweet and soft. I've said this before in past posts, but this is another whiskey that I wish I could have as a candle and just fill my house with the smell of yummy whiskey!

The flavor from the muscat finish is very noticeable on this one, but in the first few pours was not overwhelming. It was soft, even somewhat subtle in the way it hits your tongue, and really lends to a velvety smoothness.

The rye spice comes through almost immediately, letting you know that it's a rye right away. However, that spice quickly gives way to the sweet wine finish. Flavors of plum, cinnamon and orange pervade, seemingly hitting your tongue individually and all at once in a very tasty blend. This is the quintessential "dessert" whiskey, the kind you look forward to when you want something a little sweeter after a meal or as a nightcap.

As I made my way through the bottle, however, it got a little too sweet for my tastes. At first I enjoyed the softness of the muscat influence. However, after time, in particular the last couple pours, the sweet fruitiness seemed to slap me in the mouth with each sip, to the point that I couldn't even notice the other flavors. This was a bit disappointing considering how much I enjoyed it at first and what I was expecting from those last couple pours.

I tend to have a bias towards wine finishes, so take this review for what it is. That being said, of the wine barrel finished whiskeys I've had to date, this was, at least at first, probably right at the top, next to another High West product, A Midwinter Nights Dram. Unfortunately, as I got to the end of the bottle it really fizzled out. Nonetheless, whatever High West is doing with their finished ryes, they just need to keep doing it, because what they're producing has been delicious!

Grade: B

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