This is the first time that I’ve sat down with a whiskey to write it up since I took a month off from booze, and man does it feel good. Also, this particular whiskey is a very exciting one to sit down with as I loved the previous Bourye offering from High West and can’t wait to see how this one is.
For those who don’t know, High West got it start in 2006 and was founded in Park City, Utah. Since then it has become a huge brand with 4 locations including a new distillery in Wanship, Utah. In October of 2016 High West was purchased by Constellation Brands (owners of Corona, Modelo, Ballast Point, and Svedka) for 160 million dollars.
High West distills their own whiskeys at the locations I mentioned above, but also kills it when sourcing and blending expressions released under their brand. One of High West’s more unique and respectable traits is their transparency when it comes to their sourced products. They want to show off their abilities in selecting the best aged barrels from other distilleries and give those guys credit, not pretend that they made it all themselves. It’s hard to come by that kind of thing these days.
So, onto the whiskey in question. Bourye is a blend of Straight Bourbon and Straight Rye, one of the first if not the first Bourbon/Rye blend to be released. Both whiskeys appear to be sourced from MGPI in Indiana. The whiskeys are aged between 10 and 14 years and High West has this cute little story to accompany the pour:
In the old West, when cowboys would gather by their campfires to sing at night, jackalopes would frequently be heard singing in the back, mimicking the voices of the cowboys. When chases, the jackalope will use its vocal abilities to elude capture.
Alright, story time was had. Let’s drink!
Disclaimer: This product was provided at no cost to Barrels and Mash with no strings attached.
Company: High West Distillery
Mash Bill: Blend of Bourbon (75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley) and Rye (95% rye and 5% barley)
Age: 10 – 14 years
ABV: 46% (92 proof)
Released: January 2017
Color: Honey with slight reddish hues
Nose: Rye spice jumps out first but is quickly accompanied by some really nice and sweet things like raspberries and vanilla. There is also a hefty dose of nuttiness in the aroma and nice oaky and raisin things that show off all the time spent in the barrel.
Taste: On the sip the nutty vibes hit me first, like a mix of cashews and dry walnut flavors. The oak was the next to come in which made for a pretty dry combo up front but after a second on the palate the rich and fruity notes came in with the spice not far behind. The baking spices are big time and pair perfectly with the deep berry flavors and caramel notes.
Finish: This one sticks around for a while and is nice and sweet as it begins to fade with mouth-coating caramel and fruit. As the finish lingers on the oak comes back along with that dry walnut thing and ultimately some cinnamon and nutmeg spics.
Overall: What an offering to help me ease back into writing whiskey words. The complexity is fantastic in this bottle and the flavors ping-pong back and forth between predominate Rye and Bourbon notes. From the nose to the finish the balance is great and every texture is completely on point. This one keeps you guessing at what’s next and doesn’t disappoint.