High West has proven that new(ish) distilleries can work wonders with quality sourced whiskies if blended properly. Rendezvous Rye is no exception and is a fantastic blend of MGP and High West’s own distillate.
I picked up this bottle during August or September of 2018 when I was “courting” a store in hopes of building a relationship so that I could procure a bottle of George T. Stagg when they released later that year. I was new to the area and had only been dabbling in whiskey for the past year or so and had read that getting a bottle of BTAC at or close to MSRP required you to know someone. As a result, I found a store that had a decent selection at reasonable prices and began buying 90% of my bottles from them. Everything from my daily drinkers, to gifts, to stuff I just wanted to try I bought from them.
One day I was browsing the shelves and one of the clerks stopped by to chat as they often did and we began talking about High West. The only bottle I had purchased by them had been A Midwinter Night’s Dram (another story for another review) and the clerk suggested that I try the Rendezvous Rye as it was one of his personal favorites. I figured, why not, I’m in the relationship building phase and I’m always interested to try something new, so I picked it up.
Fast forward to this past week. We had another amazingly warm day in February and I had the feeling that Spring was in the air. I decided I was going to go sit outside and work through my copy of Fred Minnick’s Bourbon. What better way to spend this warm afternoon than to sit outside in an Adirondack chair, reading a book about whiskey while sipping on a glass of rye? I grabbed by Kindle, a small cup of cocoa covered dark chocolate truffles and my bottle of Rendezvous Rye and headed outside.
The sun was shining, the wind was gently blowing and the smell of the cinnamon, vanilla and baking spices from the Rendezvous Rye was in the air before my Glencairn ever got near my nose. This is one of those whiskies that I enjoy smelling almost as much as I enjoy tasting. The amber liquid glistened in the sun as I brought it to my lips. The rye spice is pretty strong at first, but soon melts into a warm cinnamon caramel, with hints of vanilla and an almost candy-like finish. The cinnamon and vanilla decide they’re going to stay for a while and they’re more than welcome as I savor each sip.
High West continually amazes me what they can do with blended whiskies. Their website says that Rendezvous Rye is a blend of straight rye whiskies aged from 4-7 years. It’s bottled at 92 proof which is a nice middle ground for me. I personally think it drinks under-proof and I would recommend it to anyone that likes a good rye. This is one that I’ll be buying again once I finish off my current bottle.
Have you tried it? What are your thoughts? Leave a message in the comment section below!