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Thursday
Jul212011

High West 12

Don't get too excited just yet, we don't have any in stock.  However, you can order it directly from High West Distillery.  David Perkins and I did a little bottle exchange this week and I finally had a chance to get my hands on this 12 year (which is a 500ml bottle even though it doesn't say so on the website).  This expression was made with another batch of whiskey taken from the old Seagram's distillery in Indiana, known now as LDI.  Everything on the rye market today is pretty much three year old LDI whiskey that's being bottled under different labels (High West Double Rye, Willett Cask Strength, Templeton, Bulleit, Redemption, etc), but this is a chance to see what those whiskies might taste like were they kept in barrel a bit longer.  As the notes say on the back, this is the same 95% rye and 5% barley mash bill.

If you've tasted all the other LDI ryes on the market, then the first sip of the High West 12 year will be very familiar - intense flavors of cinnamon, cloves, baking spices, and an almost pepperminty note.  The difference however is that the greenness and grainy character of the younger whiskies is completely gone, replaced instead by a supple mouthfeel and sweet vanilla from the barrel.  Imagine the Bulleit Rye, but spicier, richer, fuller, and sweeter - that's the High West 12 Year.  It's quite good and makes me think about investing in some LDI barrels.  We've talked with them in the past about doing something, maybe a day's run of 500 barrels.  Hmmmm.......

-David Driscoll