Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Whiskey Wednesday: Whiskey in Utah?

There's a new whiskey in town, and that town is Park City Utah. In fact, it's a new whiskey in the state and a state not exactly known for its distilled spirits at that.

High West Whiskey is a microdistillery operated by David Perkins which is making vodka as well as Rendezvous Rye. Under pressure to turn a profit, many microdistilleries put out whiskey that is too young. High West, which hasn't started bottling its own whiskey yet, has come up with an alternative. Their first whiskey is a blend of whiskies produced by other distillers.

Rendezvous Rye is a blend of two straight rye whiskies, a six year old which weighs in at 95% rye and a 16 year old which is 80% rye. These are huge rye percentages, much more than the typical straight rye on the market. As is typical in American whiskey, High West won't say where it acquired these whiskies, except to imply that they are from "back East." As a big rye fan, I was excited to try this new product.


High West Whiskey Rendezvous Rye, Batch 11, 46% alcohol ($50).

Wow. Aroma is subtle with rye and fruit. Great flavor. Very smooth for the high rye content...subtle and complex with a great balance of rye spice and sweetness. This one really blew me away.

High West really hit the notes on this one. Perkins clearly has a nose for whiskey, and hopefully, this will come through on the stuff he distills as well as this blend. I'll be watching these guys.

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