High West Rocky Mountain Rye 16 Year (2020)
Age: 16 Years
Recipe: A blend of Barton rye (80% rye, 20% malted barley) and MGP rye (95% rye, 5% malted barley)
Distillers: Barton & MGP
Regions: Kentucky & Indiana
Price Paid (MSRP): N/A ($135)
Nose: Musty oak and barrel char, cocoa nib, Luxardo cherries, leather, baking spices: chiefly cinnamon, but also allspice, nutmeg and clove. Rich caramel and vanilla bean.
Palate: Thick, weighty, tannic mouth feel. More cocoa, cinnamon, cherries, and vanilla. A little ginger, additional baking spices, and a very intense oak. All those excellent notes from the nose are carried into the palate.
Finish: Medium to long length, leathery, tannic, and oaky once again with cocoa powder and cherry. Baking spices are peppered in but this is a very drying and slightly bitter finish.
Rating: 90/100 – Incredible | An all time favorite
Those of you who are familiar with my other reviews will not be surprised to see yet another “Incredible” score for an extra aged rye. It’s true that I seem to have an unfortunate infatuation with these older, oaky ryes that aren’t kind on the wallet. While not the most convincing performance, this Rocky Mountain Rye delivers just enough to squeak into my highest tier. The nose is magnificent and the palate top notch with deep cocoa and musty oak notes intermingling with delicate baking spices. The only real underperforming areas were the lack of punch that I love in rye whiskey and the slightly over-oaked finish, which I found a bit too drying and tannic, even for me. Still these are minor nitpicks on an otherwise fantastic whiskey and High West’s final Rocky Mountain Rye release.