High West Ryes..........16 YO and 21 YO

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High West Ryes..........16 YO and 21 YO

Unread postby Mike » Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:53 pm

'My' liquor store (Rocky that is) gave me 50 ml samples of High West 16 YO rye and 21 YO rye. I feel privileged to be able to sample them.........and I hope my opinions about these whiskies are of some interest to you. I have reported on the High West Rye I have bought and sampled. It was a marriage of 6 YO rye and 16 YO ryes from who knows what source. I found it to be an excellent whiskey........one I would be more than willing to serve to any guest.

As to the ryes at hand, they are all both exceptional whiskies in my humble opinon.......a great deal good to be said for both. The 16 YO is somewhat soft but still lively. The rye sweetness, difficult to describe since it is so sublte, is yet readily apparent, and most pleasant...........and the attack of the spice is more like a feint than an assault........the 92 proof keeps the alcohol in the background and not directly involved (in this case to the benefit of the whiskey's taste).

The 21 YO is as good as any 21 YO whiskey I can recomember having. It is sweet in the right way, soft and sure, subtle and deep. quite confident and self assurred...........making a compelling case for time in the barrel. There may be some folks who would deny the importance of careful aging in the quality of this rye.............fi on them! They don't seem to know what can sometimes be achieved 'twixt whiskey and the barrel over many years.............this whiskey is incredible in its lightness...........it tiptoes across the palate, setting off no alarms, yet ringing every single taste bell in the whole cathedral (and this is a cathedral, not a country church, appealing as they may be in some circumstances).

All the experts, without exception as far as I know, tell us that taste is subjective..............but that is at best trivially true, and far from the whole truth! Some 'subjective' taste is better than others, to deny that is to lie, outright lie! Anyone with any sense knows that Shakespeare is a greater writer than Hemingway (so much for those Hemingway fans who claim he is a the best).

And anyone with any sense knows that some whiskies rise above others in a significant way............subjective opinions be damned (I say this with only half a grin).

MY whiskey experience tells me that this 21 YO rye is an exceptional whiskey. You may fault my taste, my experience, my judgement, and I will give you that, but I would still assert that this 21 YO whiskey is above reproach.

I care less to know from whence it came than that it is, if only briefly, in my hands here and now!
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Re: High West Ryes..........16 YO and 21 YO

Unread postby cowdery » Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:22 pm

I'm convinced this whiskey, as well as the Templeton Rye, was made at the former Seagram's distillery, now owned by Angostura, in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
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Re: High West Ryes..........16 YO and 21 YO

Unread postby sailor22 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:06 pm

Mike - every time you post something like this it costs me $.
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Re: High West Ryes..........16 YO and 21 YO

Unread postby gillmang » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:26 pm

Very nice notes, Mike (as Linn said). I'd like to try these some day. Whatever the origin, the whiskey as I've sampled it (only the 6 + 16 year old blend) is excellent.

There is a time and place to spend, yes. The flip side is, if you can find the stuff, you can spend far less and get the Chateau Margaux' of bourbon. (Dusties on the shelf).

Anyway, it's all good.

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Re: High West Ryes..........16 YO and 21 YO

Unread postby cowdery » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:26 am

I just wish High West could be a proud independent bottler (which is what they are) instead of pretending to be a distillery.
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Re: High West Ryes..........16 YO and 21 YO

Unread postby Shell@freilich.com » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:53 pm

cowdery wrote:I'm convinced this whiskey, as well as the Templeton Rye, was made at the former Seagram's distillery, now owned by Angostura, in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.


I have also heard that a number of ryes (such as High West, Cougar, Devil's Bit, among others) are produced at the Lawrenceburg, IN distillery. The distillery seems to produce ryes for others to label and distribute.

I had also heard that Templeton Rye was produced at the Lawrenceburg, IN distillery in the beginning of its 'resurgence" of the brand. According to the Templeton Rye's web site, they are (now) producing their rye in their own distillery.
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Re: High West Ryes..........16 YO and 21 YO

Unread postby cowdery » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:14 pm

Templeton continues to give the impression that they are distilling their rye in Templeton but they never have and still aren't. And I have been told directly by Scott Bush, the owner, that they never will. They may, however, be aging some LDI whiskey in Templeton.
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Re: High West Ryes..........16 YO and 21 YO

Unread postby Shell@freilich.com » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:52 pm

cowdery wrote:Templeton continues to give the impression that they are distilling their rye in Templeton but they never have and still aren't. And I have been told directly by Scott Bush, the owner, that they never will. They may, however, be aging some LDI whiskey in Templeton.


Thanks very much for the info and the insight.

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