This is the final review in my mini-series on rye whiskeys, High West Rendezvous Rye. High West is a distillery out of Utah, that is currently distilling their own whiskey, but most of their products currently on the shelves are sourced from other distilleries. This particular whiskey is a batched whiskey comprised of a 16 year-old 80% rye whiskey from the Barton Distillery in Kentucky and a 6 year-old 95% rye whiskey from MGP (formerly LDI) in Indiana. It is then bottled in the recognizable High West bottle at 92 proof (45% abv). I have heard that this one varies from batch to batch, but I have had three different batches now, and they have all been very good. My tasting notes are a bit brief as I compiled my tastings of all three batches for the review.
On the nose, Rendezvous Rye has a lot of cinnamon and tart green apples, backed up nicely by the familiar rye notes of mint leaves and pine needles. I also detect a bit of berry sweetness from the nose, too. The palate is very well balanced, between rye notes and a healthy dose of barrel sweetness. There are notes of cinnamon, oak, gin botanicals, pine needles, and vanilla. The finish leaves warming potpourri, orange peels, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon sugar.
Overall, this is a very good rye whiskey, probably the best of the three I’ve reviewed in my rye mini-series. It is a good balance between an old, elegant rye, and a young, brash rye. My only complaint is that it achieves neither end fully, and leaves the whole whiskey experience a little short of excellence. I suspect that this will make my forthcoming list of the Top Ten Whiskeys I want at Barrel Strength. That said, this is still a wonderful rye whiskey that makes for a great introduction to craft rye whiskeys if you’ve been looking to let it ride with rye. My grade: B+. Price: $50-60/750ml. This is a very good rye at a reasonable price given the age, and one that gives an indication of the quality products coming out of High West Distillery & Saloon.