High West Rocky Mountain Rye 16 yr. Review

High West Rocky Mountain Rye 16 yr Review

Sold out at the distillery, but you can still find the High West Rocky Mountain Rye 16 yr every once in a while gathering dust on the top shelf of small liquor stores. In the last 2 years I’ve seen 2 bottles doing just that and to this day I still kick myself for not grabbing them because this is some damn good whiskey.

Bottled in the earlier days of High West’s existence, this bottling of a 16 year old rye whiskey is exactly that. An independent bottling of another distillery’s whiskey that they slapped their own name on and it also happens to be one of the two whiskies used in their Rendezvous rye. Which, if you get your hands on a bottle of the 16, can create a fun tasting experience. Pour a dram of the 16, the Rendezvous and Bulleit rye (which is a young 95/5 LDI rye) to see how the individual components end up contributing to the end product.

Overall this is a simply stunning whiskey. The big bold rye flavors and spices have been tempered by age to bring a rich full flavor and aroma to the whiskey. There is an incredible balance and underlying sweetness that pairs perfectly with the spicy punchy rye and smooth oak; making it a dram you want to slowly sip and savor. It’s complex but easy to enjoy and is an absolutely stunning example of just how good rye whiskey can be.

High West Rocky Mountain Rye 16 yr. Review

Batch: 2
Bottle: 428

ABV: 46%
Price: $90
Distiller: Barton
Mashbill: 80% rye, 10%corn and 10% barley

EYE
Deep rich caramel

NOSE
Rye spice dominates followed by wood, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon and leather. This amazing bouquet sits on top of a bed of fruit, citrus and dill. The aroma is soft but crisp without any muddled scents.

TASTE
Rye spice, caramel, wood and dark fruit combine for the bulk of the palate. Baking spices and honey play supporting roles with leather and pepper popping in on the back end like exclamation marks punctuating a perfectly stated sentence.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Great balance with sweet and earthy pushing and pulling in tandem. Full bodied and smooth as melted caramel with only a hint of bite.

FINISH
Wood heavy with caramel, rye, cinnamon and pepper with vanilla peeking it’s head out at the end of the long finish.

SCORE: 97/100

Josh Peters
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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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Filed Under: Rye

4 Responses to High West Rocky Mountain Rye 16 yr. Review

  1. Would you call this your favorite rye that you’ve come across?
    I’m asking because i found a bottle of this, a little while ago, and its been gnawing away at my good sense to actually pick it up.
    I love HW products. Rendevous (one of my favorite ryes that i can reliably find), the latest Bourye, the Dram, but I’ve never tried this one. I’ve never even SEEN it prior to this occasion (btw, despite the bottle being in a glass case, it was very dusty:)
    If only the price wasn’t so crazy, the decision would be much easier.

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