High West Bourye 2015 Release Review

High West Bourye 2015 Release Review

I picked up this High West Bourye 2015 Release early last year and kept meaning to do a SBS between it and the original Bourye batch 2 I have, but just never got around to it. Then the good folks at High West reached out and sent me a bottle of the 2017 batch (reviewing tomorrow) at which point I had no choice but to setup a good old fashioned taste off.

In High West’s Words: High West Bourye 2015 Release

“Bourye is a combination of “Bou” for bourbon and “rye” for..well, rye whiskey. Because combining bourbon and rye is a bit unusual, we couldn’t help thinking of the jackalope. Honestly, we didn’t think anyone would like the name!

The jackalope, also called an antelabbit, is an antlered species of rabbit, a cross between a jack rabbit and an antelope. It is rumored that pockets of jackalope populations continue to persist in the American West, its native home. In the old West, when cowboys would gather by their campfires to sing at night, jackalopes would frequently be heard singing back, mimicking the voices of the cowboys. When chased, the jackalope will use its vocal abilities to elude capture.

For instance, when chased by people it will call out phrases such as, “There he goes, over there,” in order to throw pursuers off its track. Legend suggests the best way to catch a jackalope is to lure it with whiskey, as they have a particular fondness for this drink.

Once intoxicated, the animal becomes slower and easier to hunt (believe it or not, all this mythology is true, we didn’t make any of this up). That’s why High West created Bourye®, our proprietary blend of mature Bourbon and Rye, both favorites of real cowboys and sure to attract even the most finicky of jackalopes.”

If you’re wondering how I know this is the 2015 release, besides it missing the “limited release” stamp the 2016 label carries, I can show you. The bottle carries the code 14L16 which is Year / Month / Day which means this was bottled on the 16th of December, 2014 (L is the 12th letter of the alphabet). As always High West kills it with transparency, I wish all bottling codes were this simple. Anyways, on to the High West Bourye 2015 Release review!

High West Bourye 2015 Release Info

Region: Utah, USA

Distiller: MGP
Blender: High West
Mashbill: 3 Ryes and 1 Bourbon

  •  9-year-old straight bourbon (mash bill: 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% barley malt) Source: MGP/LDI/Seagrams, Indiana
  • 10-year-old straight rye (mash bill: 95% rye, 5% barley malt) Source: MGP/LDI/Seagrams, Indiana
  • 16-year-old straight rye (mash bill: 95% rye, 5% barley malt) Source: MGP/LDI/Seagrams, Indiana
  • 16-year-old straight rye (mash bill: 80% rye, 10% corn, 10% malt) Source: Barton Distillery

Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 9 Years
ABV: 46%

Non-Chill Filtered

Batch: 14L16

Price: NA – Auction, Specialty Store or Private Seller

High West Bourye 2015 Release Review

Varnished oak

Dark fruit, vanilla, caramel, dark sweets, mint, oak, cinnamon and a light bit of orchard fruit and nuts. It’s dynamic and lovely.

Oak, dark fruit heavy with dried cherries, spice, vanilla, caramel heavy dark sweets and light bit of citrus and nuts. There’s weight and depth to the flavor, it’s truly awesome.

Long fade of oak, caramel, vanilla and spice.

Well balanced, full body and a slick oily feel.

High West Bourye 2015 Release is a great attempt at recreating the original. It’s Not quite there, but there’s a similar fingerprint on the whiskey and a familiar feeling throughout. The aroma is rich and well composed as are the palate and finish. Because it’s such a perfect daily drinker I keep in stock as often as I can now that they’ve been re-releasing them.

While the era of whiskey that produced the original Bourye won’t likely be repeated again due to it’s popularity it’s awesome to see High West making solid attempts to catch that lightning again. That’s one of the things I really like about HW, when they put out a follow-up to something, like this High West Bourye 2015 Release, it’s not a half hearted attempt. They dig as deep as they can to put out something great.

SCORE: 92/100 (A-)

High West Bourye 2015 Release Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 93
  • Palate - 93
  • Finish - 92
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 93


High West Bourye 2015 Release is good like all the other Bourye releases.

High West Bourye 2015 Release Label

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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7 Responses to High West Bourye 2015 Release Review

  1. Hi Josh,

    I happened to have done this exact same thing this past weekend, but we instead compared the 2015 with the latest release (2017? the two bottle labels match the ones in your pic).
    After first tasting the new release we came to the same conclusion: it’s noticably better than the 2015 release. The difference comes across as smoother, more integrated with less “dusty barn” and it might be a bit sweeter. It’s just an incredibly enjoyable spirit that, we think, might provide a hint as to why the first Bourye release we so highly regarded.

  2. Hello,

    I have a bottle of (what I now realize is) the 2016 release. Thank you for explaining the numbering convention. I love this bottle. Sampled it at WhiskeyFest last year and it was the only one I went back to a second time to make sure it was as good as I thought it was. And it was. I love scotch. I love bourbon. Never been much of a fan of rye straight (although I love it in mixed drinks). But sometimes you just feel like “something different” and that’s when I reach for this one. Great addition to my whiskey cabinet. Thanks for the review.

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