High West Barrel Select Malbec Finish Rye Whiskey
Park City Utah's High West Whiskey has long touted their Double Rye as being a quest for "the spiciest rye whiskey in the world", and while the formulation has changed over time from being all sourced whiskey to containing a good portion of their own distillate, that devotion to super rye-y rye has been a constant, and the flavor certainly shows it. The standard bottling is full of classic rye notes like menthol, eucalyptus, black tea, honey, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. As part of their single cask program, High West took a barrel of what would have been part of a Double Rye blend and then aged it a further year in fresh Argentine Malbec casks. The big, juicy, dark cherry and earth character of Malbec is immediately apparent on opening the bottle up, and even more so upon pouring a glass and letting it open up. The nose is jam and spices, with blackberry jam leading the way, along with licorice, allspice, strawberry shortcake, and fresh baked rye bread. On the palate, the jamminess continues on a big and round mouthfeel, with more sweet blackberry, sage, cinnamon toast, licorice, cedar, and a hint of tobacco. The finish is pure rye, with big hearty bread and a hint of cocoa. Bottled at 49.4% abv.