Rendezvous Rye is my second review from High West. Previously I reviewed High West Double Rye!, which like Rendezvous Rye, is a bend of two straight rye whiskeys. I’m a big fan of both of these, but Rendezvous Rye is something special. The blending/vatting done at High West makes these products pretty exciting.
High West Rendezvous Rye Background
Rendezvous Rye is a blend of 6-year-old 95% rye and 16-year-old 80% rye. Comparatively, Double Rye is a 2 year 95% rye and a 16 year 53% rye. So, there’s a significant difference in the assertiveness of the rye. The younger whiskey is 6 vs 2-year-old and the older rye is a more robust 80% rye. It’s thought the 6 year comes from LDI/MGP and the 16 from Barton.
High West is headed by former bio-chemist David Perkins. He took a visit to the Maker’s Mark distillery while in town for a wedding and there he found his passion for making whiskey. High West started distilling in 2007 in addition to blending products such as Rendezvous Rye. They distill some clear liquor products, in addition have an oat whiskey and an all-malt whiskey aging in barrels. David said the inspiration for Rendezvous Rye came from drinking Cognac blended with old and new brandies.
Blend of 16-year-old whiskey of 80% rye, 10% corn, and 10% barley; and 6-year-old 95% rye and 5% barley. Non-chill filtered. Bottled at 46%. Batch 13J30. Bottle 2553. Paid $51 (ABC Minimum)
Spearmint, pine, grassy. Apples. Young rye is evident in the nose. Nice oak and vanilla in there too.
Minty and sweetness up front. Lots of caramel and vanilla. Nice rye spices in there. Buttery. Flavorful and balanced. Mild warming going down. Light oak with a little astringency in the finish
Very nice. Nice complexity and really smooth drinking. There’s just a lot of stuff going on. It’s like the old and young ryes are having a boxing match in my mouth and everyone’s invited. Flavors go back and forth between the ryes. The best of two words of an aged/refined whiskey and a feisty young rye. This may not be for everyone since this seems like two distinct whiskeys in one glass. I could see someone may want to go either or one at a time, but there’s not exactly a lot of old rye whiskey on the shelves today. I’m impressed and really enjoy it.
I’m curious how much of this 16-year-old rye is around. I’ll be keeping a close eye on this one in case shelves start to go empty. If so, I’ll probably be stocking up.
High West Rendezvous Rye Recommendation
Buy Again – 4.5/5.0 Rating
Links & Reviews
- High West Rendezvous Rye Website
- Straight Bourbon Forums
- David Perkins Interview
- Troy Karnes Interview
- Sour Mash Manifesto Review
- Sipology Review