Monthly Archives: May 2010

High West Rendezvous Rye Whiskey

High West Rendezvous Rye Whiskey, Batch 47, Bottle 421, 46% abv(92 proof), $40-45

A big ole nose of cinnamon stick, clove, vanilla, peppermint, and burned sugar is freshened up with crisp Green Apple. One of the more interesting noses I’ve been introduced to this year. The first sip is intense with rye spice, volumes of vanilla, some barrel char, and an extremely rich and viscous mouth feel – quite oily and coating. The finish takes hold with huge rye spice, cinnamon, mint, and vanilla and it lingers for ages. Outstanding finish to this whiskey. Drink neat at room temperature to get the full experience, but don’t hesitate to add a few teaspoons of spring water to cool it down a shade. Feel free to mix, but with a whiskey this fantastic, why would you? (Highly recommended).

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 9.4 (Outstanding/Superb)

Note: As mentioned in the video review, High West Rendezvous Rye Whiskey was sourced (read: not distilled by High West) from an undisclosed distillery. It’s a blending of two Ryes, a 6 year old 95% Rye and a 16 year old 80% Rye. This product has been out for a couple of years, but High West being a new distillery, wanted to put a whiskey out to market and did not have enough aged product to do so. Rendezvous Rye was the result. Whatever your opinion may be on “sourced” vs. distilled, or whether or not that’s a true “micro” or “artisan” distillery, the proof is always in the pudding. When these arguments are removed from the equation, this Whiskey stands on it’s own merit. High West does distill other products, namely Vodka, and to my knowledge is producing and aging its own whiskey.

Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon

Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon, 40% (Abv)/80 Proof, $17-20

Light and fresh on the nose with Nutmeg, Rye, and Mint. Sweetness on the sniff takes the form of Marshmallow Fluff and Banana with Vanilla undertones. This bourbon remains light and lively in the mouth, with an airy dryness of Oak and Vanilla. The sweetness is minimal up front on the palette with some light maple syrup and caramel. Finishes dry with cinnamon and prickly spice notes coming through. Drink neat or in a cocktail. An excellent value for the dollar, and well made by the folks at Four Roses.

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 8.2 (Excellent)

Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage 2000

Evan Williams Single Barrel, Vintage 2000, 43.3% (Abv)/86.6 Proof, $25-$30
Bottle #367
The nose opens up with Honey, Vanilla, some sweet spice (cinnamon, nutmeg) with some toasted oak and light barrel. First sip reinforces those flavors with ample measure. Honey immediately on the front of the tongue, prickly spice (mint/cinnamon), some citrusy/acidic notes, then toasted oak and vanilla on the back of the palette. This bourbon is medium bodied in the mouth with a spicy, minty finish that lingers moderately with some leftover sweetness and oak. A fantastic bourbon with layers of flavor. Extremely lively, balanced, and well crafted.

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 9.3 (Superb/Outstanding)