Tag Archives: Pickles

High West’s Yippee Ki-Yay (motherf#cker), batch no. 1

 

Region – Distilled in Indiana, matured and extra matured in Utah – ABV – 46%

High West and her various sourced ryes were the first ryes I got into when I started getting serious about American spirits.

Back then, High West had some 16 & 21yo ryes which were all over store shelves and at pretty decent prices. A bit later on I discovered their Rendezvous Rye (which is a staple here at Chez Hatton), and then even further on I found a truly ballsy one: Double Rye!

David Perkins of High West is quite open about sourcing whiskey and blending it in house. In today’s day and age where stories of “grandpa’s famous recipe has been discovered” are built around sourced hooch, it’s good to know there are people like David Perkins who will not use smoke and mirrors. Rather, he ensures High West is transparent and focuses on the blending techniques and extra maturation processes to make his whiskeys stand out amongst the rest.

High West Yippee Ki-Yay Batch 1Today we’ve got a distillery only bottling called “Yippee Ki-Yay” in glass.  The details (taken from highwest.com) are as follows:

TTB designation: A Blend of Straight Whiskies 
• Proof: Bottled at 46 %ABV
• Ratio of component whiskeys: top secret!
• Not chill filtered
•Marriage of two straight rye whiskies
•The 2-year-old
•95% rye
•5% barley malt mashbill (LDI now MGP) 
•The older rye has a “barely legal” rye mashbill of:
•53% rye
•37% corn (Barton Distillery)
•Barrel type: Oak barrel that previously held Vermouth Barrel (Vya, Madera, CA), Oak barrel that previously held Qupé Syrah (Qupé Santa maria, CA)

The extra maturation in Vermouth and Qupé Syrah casks is unique and sounds amazing to me.

Color — Somewhere between Rainwater Madeira and a 10+ yr Madeira

On the nose — The backbone is pure LDI/MGP Rye. Think pine cones and pickles.

High West Yippee Ki-Yay Batch 1Surrounding this are layers of cinnamon buns, strawberry sauce, melted butter on spelt bread toast, hints of dry vermouth and dill infused apple cider vinegar (if there were such a thing), dark chocolate, licorice all-sorts. Very herbaceous as well.

This is both very rye-like and very un-rye-like at the same time. A bit of a conundrum, if you will.

High West Yippee Ki-Yay Batch 1In the mouth — Massive spice and dark fruits such as prunes, blackberries, black maraschino cherries, and fresh red plums. Salted, chocolate covered caramels.

All this is sitting on a foundation of pickling spices (mustard seed, caraway, dill weed). The mouthfeel is lush and satisfying.

Finish — A long, vermouthy finish with hints of cracked black pepper.

In sum — This is like a port that used rye whiskey for fortification rather than brandy. This is the ultimate dessert dram. Not a rye for everyone as it’s a departure from the category, but if you have an open mind, you will LOVE this.

I know I did. It’s gorgeous stuff.

High West Whiskey – Bourye vs Son of Bourye

Park City, Utah – Both bottled at 46%ABV (or 92 proof)

“Oh, how cruel!!  Oh, the humanity!  Yossi is pitting father against son!  How could he do it?  Does he have no heart?!  Isn’t he, himself, a father?!”

Sheesh!

Like I’m the first to have even put a father vs son (or vice versa) in a story before.  Have you never heard of the binding of Issac?  Abraham was totally going to knife his kid!

Then there’s the misunderstanding between fathers and sons. Let’s think of Cat Stevens “Father and Son“…

Or even, the story from Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle” – talk about a tear jerker!

What about Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker?!

Nah, what I’m offering up is not as intense as the aforementioned daddy-issue, issues.  Today we have a couple of very interesting bourbon/rye blends from High West.  First up:

High West Bourye – 46% ABV$55

Details on this whiskey from the High West folks:

“Bourye’s unique blend features three whiskies: a 10-year-old bourbon with a mash bill of 75 percent corn, 20 percent rye and 5 percent barley malt; a 12-year-old straight rye whiskey that’s 95 percent rye and five percent barley malt; and finally a 16-year-old straight rye with 53 percent rye, 37 percent corn and 10 percent malt. “

On the nose –  Much softer than previous High West Whiskeys I’ve tried but that lovely pickley-dill (piccadilly palare?) quality is wafting about.

Fresh cut grass and shots of wheatgrass.

Fennel seeds (again, like other High West).  Charred oak is obvious.

There is a corn-like quality here though, sweet creamed corn.

On the mouth – VERY much a bourbon.

The sweetness is here and the spice is slight.  Soft in the mouth, not very aggressive.

The second sip reverses the preceding sentence.

Pumpkin spices: Cinnamon, cardamom (slight), nutmeg, allspice (what the heck is allspice anyway?).

A very present and attention demanding whiskey.

Finish – Shortish with lingering vanilla and wood.

High West Bourye – 46% ABV$42

Details on this whiskey from the High West folks:

“Not chill filtered, not carbon treated. Whiskey #1: 5yr Old Bourbon- 75% corn, 20% rye, 5% barley malt, Whiskey #2: 3yr Old Rye – 95% rye, 5% barley malt. The ratios of whiskies are top secret! However, no bourbon today has more rye in the final product!”

On the nose –  Quite a different animal as compared his pop – peppermint and floral air fresheners.

Much more “clean” smelling than Mr. Bourye Senior.

Laminated cardboard candy boxes (that once held candy).

Cut greens yet not like grass – sweet spouts perhaps.

Pencil shavings and wood char.

On the mouth – If Bourye is taking the low road, Son of Bourye is taking the high road.  Not sure how to put this into words but this is light and airy compared to Bourye.

Very grassy which is not something I often get in American whiskeys.  Vegetal and garden like but not garden variety.  Focusing on greens, sweet greens.

The rye in present here, seemingly more so, in comparison with the Bourye, with some added citrus and spice.

Quite fresh and almost palate cleansing (yet full of flavor).  This is a kooky lil’ guy!  Me likey!

Finish – It’s all about subtlety here.  If you pay attention, the finish is long with a slight sweetness.  Spice & citrus all along the edges.

In sum – This is a tough one.  If you like the more fierce bourbons with a high-rye, slightly spicy type quality, then Bourye is for you.  I quite enjoyed the off-the-beaten-pathedness of the Son of Bourye.  It’s a wholly new experience — one that has won my heart.  Son of Bourye had me at Hello.

**As a note: these older whiskeys from High West have not been distilled at their location. Rather, they have purchased this whiskey and, as you can see, are making some amazing blends from that stock. The good news for you is two fold: 1) They have a good deal of this older, purchased stock and 2) High West is also now a true distillery and has been for a few years so we should be seeing some younger stuff come from them very shortly!!**

Special thanks goes out to David Perkins and Erik Fitchett for the samples!!

High West Rocky Mountain Rye 16yo vs 21yo

Park City, Utah – Both bottled at 46%ABV (or 92 proof)

What do you think of when you hear “Utah?”

Some people think of the beautiful landscape.

 

 

 

 

Some think of Mormons.

 

 

 

 
Some, Polygymists.

 

 

 

 

Me, I always thought of Crispin Glover’s character in Rubin and Ed.

(I effing LOVE that movie!)

 

 

 

 
I think it’s time to get a new image in our heads – WHISKEY!
Today I’m putting up two really nice Rye Whiskeys from Utah’s High West up against one another.  A 16yo vs a 21yo.

Who will be the victor?  Generally, I’ve always found that Victor remains the victor so let’s try to find a winner instead:

High West Rocky Mountain Rye – 16yo, 46%ABV $80

Details on this whiskey from the High West Folks:

“This is one of the most intensely ryed rye whiskeys we’ve ever had the chance to taste. That’s because of its very unusual mash bill, which boasts 80% rye, 10% corn, and 10% barley malt. Almost all rye whiskeys on the market today contain just over 51% rye because that’s the minimum the U.S. government requires for the label to say “rye whiskey”. Distilleries today tend to use more corn because corn costs less and they think consumers don’t like rye’s spiciness. We disagree. With its high rye content, this 16-Year-Old gem is one of the most intensely flavored sipping whiskies out there.”

On the nose –  First impression? A wonderful mixture of blueberry tarts, dill weed and funyuns.

Quite the spicy drop yet honied nonetheless.

Model glue is in here too (along with the burn you get from huffing it. (Hey, I was young and impressionable.  Don’t judge me.)

Cinnamon and other, yet spices — anise seed, fennel seed & licorice.

On the mouth – Nice & satisfying mouthfeel.

Spicy… similar to what we get on the nose.

Lots of dill, honey and now some vanilla helping to balance it all out a bit.

Orange slices & clove powder.

There’s something a bit plastic & artificial feeling about this… in a good way. (Reminds me of old action figures.)

Warming and very easy going down.

Finish – Long & with orange spice toward the back of the tongue.

High West Rocky Mountain Rye – 21yo, 46%ABV $118

Details on this whiskey from the High West Folks:

“The Federal Government term for this is “Whiskey Distilled from Rye Mash Stored 21 Years in Re-Used Cooperage.” Translation: This is very rare whiskey aged in USED barrels. All were aged on the lower three tiers of the rickhouse. Mash bill is 53% rye, 37% corn, 10% barley malt.”

On the nose –  Much more of a shy guy as compared to the 16yo.  Lighter in color too. (Less active, refill casks here.)

After spending a bit more time with this whisky, I’m finding that the notes are similar to the 16yo.

Just a bit more subdued.

On the mouth – Some fresh yet dusty here, lively yet timid…

Fresh blueberries dance around the palate doing a two-step tinned fruits (heavy one the orange slices and pear).

After a few minutes, this one quite right up.

You know?  This is quite fantastic.

Fruits are massive and there’s a delicious underlying spice to this 21yo.

Finish – Wonderfully long & fruity with vanilla & cinnamon ribbon candies

In sum – Ding ding ding!!!  We have a winner!  The 21yo is glorious, through & through.  The 16yo is no schlub and it has retained its youthful spunk.  Both are great examples of great rye whiskey but dang, that 21yo is a cracker!!

**As a note: these older whiskeys from High West have not been distilled at their location. Rather, they have purchased this whiskey and, as you can see, are making some amazing blends from that stock. The good news for you is two fold: 1) They have a good deal of this older, purchased stock and 2) High West is also now a true distillery and has been for a few years so we should be seeing some younger stuff come from them very shortly!!**

Special thanks goes out to David Perkins and Erik Fitchett for the samples!!