High West Double Rye

High West Double Rye

We are branching out a little here. With the crazy prices that are out there for bourbon. With the price increases, there is an increased willingness to try other whiskeys in an attempt to branch out and avoid the cost increases. After all, if one does not like the whisky in question, there is always a Manhattan to cover up some of the taste. There is also a whiskey and coke or even some cooking uses that don't require the greatest whiskey flavor, so no whiskey will be wasted during this or any review.

There is trepidation here. In the past, rye whiskey was something that just did not work very well. Rye whiskey is usually harsh on the palate and needs some vermouth to smooth out the rye into a refined drink.

Nose The essence of the barrel is reduced. There is more grain aroma than in some other bourbons, but more like a bourbon the alphageek usually does not like as much.

Pop Surprisingly mild. The whiskey enters the mouth and does not cause that pucker factor that many other rye whiskeys cause. Instead, the flavor opens up the palette.

Body The surprises continue as the rye gently swirls around the mouth and releases a grain flavor sensation.

Finish Well, it wouldn't be a rye without a little harshness somewhere and the finish is where the harshness comes out. While not as sharp as some other ryes out there, or low quality bourbon, there is still a burn that one hopes will go away and stop covering the flavor up.

Since the finish is somewhat harsh, the alphageek added an ice cube to see what would happen.

The rye did finish more smoothly than before. Also there were some hints of appricot released. Usually, the alphageek can't really get those individual flavor components, but an individual flavor was actually released. Still, I miss the wood from the barrel not being front and center.

Given that loss of wood, we went over and mixed up a Manhattan. What starts out as harshness has now turned into an explosion of flavor. The vermouth adds cherry and a little cardamom to even things out. Add in a couple of homemade bar cherries and you have flavor that does not give up all the way down. The flavor carries down just like the harshness from before, making the line between harsh and flavor impossible to find.

While not a favorite, this rye makes one heck of a great Manhattan. The rye is sipable, but we have to admit rye is not yet our thing.

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