Archive for rye

High West Rendezvous Rye

Posted in rye with tags , , on January 3, 2010 by Mick

I think we can thank Mad Men for rye having the comeback its having.  I remember for a hot minute, there were probably 4 or 5 big ryes out there that were available at some liquor stores. Now you can buy it in the grocery store. (Out of state peeps – In CA you can buy liquor in supermarkets)

My point is, with all of these “new” options, (i used new loosely, as its new to me)  it was time that BABAC (Bay Area Bourbon Aficionado’s Club) did a one-off and had a rye night.

To me, rye isnt the best thing to drink straight. Im not into the harsh bitter end you find in most ryes, and the empty middle. So we made sure we had two testings. Straight and a classic Manhattan. In both catagories, High West DESTROYED the competition. Like, when i say destroy, i mean imagine a 1-on-1 game between LeBron James and Stephen Hawking.  I know….that was harsh. But this rye wasnt.

Why? It tasted like a goddamn bourbon. Caramel? Butterscotch? Deep earthy oak notes? WTF? Are we being punked? I remember looking around for Ashton Kutcher’s goofy ass….nope. This is a RYE.

A little more research told us why. High West creates a blend of two of their ryes; a 6-year old 95% rye and a 16-year old 80% rye. With this mixture, you get the bourbon caramel and maple notes, but the sharper rye finishes youd expect. And at about 92 proof, its smooooooth.

Make no mistake, im no rye expert by any means, mainly because i said “I like this rye alot. Because it tastes like a bourbon.” Any rye drinker would slap my Bearded cheeks for saying that. But, its a start.

Im probably out of my gourd for saying this, but until i have another rye as good as this one, ill just assume THIS rye is amazing.

My score – 97 out of 100.

Sazerac Rye Whiskey

Posted in rye with tags , on June 6, 2009 by Mick

sazeracIve had a few ryes that have been a bit persnickity in the taste. For me, historically, the best way to describe it, is if you were listening to a song, there is all treble, all bass, but no mid range at all….not necessarily empty, but hollow…


Thats how ive felt about some ryes. Alot of pop off the lips, then a burn, and maybe some flavor lingering after a swallow….not so much with Sazerac.


I know i sound like a big Buffalo Trace whore here (Sazerac is of the BT family) but lets face it….its a huge family with beautiful children. This rye is named for the famously traditional Sazerac cocktail from Nola, which ive actually had, and surprisingly, has as much depth.


Initially, i got a strong STRONG smell of clove off the nose, followed by a little vanilla and orange peel. The midrange on the lips that i felt was missing in most ryes?


There. With a faint “glazed ham” depth. Ham?


Hear me out….when i say ham, i refer to the heavy, autumnal dish thick in fruity glaze and clove….THIS is that.


It isnt often that i get a rye like this….and i hate to say it, if it werent for its definition of rye (understandibly made of 51% rye grains, duh?) i would think this was made of corn. Hello bourbon.


Its not the greatest whiskey, nor one i would reach for, but for a rye, i can deal.


My score 84 out of 100.