Friday, August 17, 2018

High West Double Rye! Blend of Straight Rye Whiskeys

VITALS:
- $20/375 ml
- 92 Proof
- Batch No. 15K05
- Utah

I am admittedly a High West fanboy. It's the only distillery I've been to multiple times, I've made friends with some of their employees, and I constantly recommend their products to friends and strangers. I've even branded my car with their logo. And yet, I've never gotten around to reviewing one of their flagship offerings -- Double Rye!

I've reviewed many versions of Double Rye!, private selections from different stores with various finishes. And though I've had it a million times, I never got around to giving it a proper review here. This bottle, which was handed to me by a former work colleague as he left the office for greener pastures, gave me just that opportunity!

The nose is sweet, a nice blend of cinnamon and molasses. It gave it that deep, sweet note balanced by the cinnamon spice typical of ryes. It's what drew me to rye in the first place, and I was very pleased to get some of these traditional notes. It also had a layer of vanilla along with a slight pine note. Interestingly, there was also a hint of something fruity, like raspberry, that was hard to notice at first, but once I did I couldn't not notice it.

The first thing I noticed when I took a sip was how easy it was to drink. I realize it's not a super-high proof, but it went down dangerously easy. One quality that stood out right away was a malty note that I don't usually get it rye. Perhaps this is what helped make it so easy to drink. It didn't come close to tasting like Scotch or anything, but it just had that smooth, sippable quality to its flavor.

Of course, the most prevalent flavors were brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. The sweet vanilla was right up front, but quickly that cinnamon spice came in and lingered long after each swallow. Somewhere in the middle the brown sugar took on more of a burnt sugar note. That was balanced by an almond extract type flavor as well.

The cinnamon spice wasn't a sweet spice, and at times it came across more as a black pepper spice at the back of my throat. Towards the end of the bottle, I started noticing a light coating of caramel in my mouth and throat as well, and between that and the spice, it had me reaching for that next sip almost immediately.

It's no wonder I've enjoyed grabbing the store selects and finished versions of this rye. This really has everything I look for in a rye, and for being their sort of base-line product, it offers a lot of flavor and complexity. This is very good, and well-worth the price!

Grade: B+

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