high west whiskeyYes, that exclamation point is part of the name.  And it is fitting for several reasons.  First off, this rye whiskey is one of our favorites.  Second, it is surprising.  It is called a double rye because it is, in fact, a combination of two different rye whiskeys: a “feisty” high rye 2-year-old and a “saddle smooth” 16-year-old.  Yes, it sounds like a strange combo, but somehow it works.

The High West Distillery is in Park City, Utah.  Started in 2009, it is Utah’s first distillery since 1870.  The High West folks also tout that they have the distinction of being the world’s only ski-in gastro-distillery.  Say that three times fast.  High West’s founder David Perkins chose Utah for the allure of the Old West.  Hence, the whole cowboy vibe on the label.  That’s a David Levinthal photo on the label, if you are curious.

Just picture John Wayne and some zealous, young upstart biting at his heels and that’s what you’ve got here.  The extra aged whiskey tames the younger one with just a drop of sweetness and richness.  According to Christopher Null of drinkhacker.com, “This is ultimately a very drinkable whiskey, tough and rustic thanks to its baby component, but tricked out with some curious points here and there owing to its older counterpart.  An oddball indeed, but an enjoyable one.”

It works both as a mixer and as a standalone sipper.  If you are a rye whiskey aficionado, you’ve got to try it.  Come on down and have a drink, son!

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