High West Bourye (2014)

HW Bourye 2014 2.jpg

Thanks to /u/cnbrown313 for this sample.

I’ve been told I had to try High West Bourye. So I did.

There, intro done. Nice job /u/TOModera .

Seriously though, when I last have reviewed the lonely distiller in the middle of Hell Utah, I’ve had quite a few people tell me I had to get my hands on High West Bourye.

Which was easy, because the local liquor stores are so accommodating.

(That’s sarcasm).

So I finally found someone who was nice enough to swap me for some. Which was cool.

But why is this hard to find? Simply enough, this is an interesting blend of whiskies that only those crazy cowboys down at High West would ever attempt.

So first they talk to three different distillers: Four Roses, LDI and Barton. And that has to be fun for their logistics guys. Three calls? Come on, other distillers call one and then never mention it, and they called three and then wrote it out? Fuck, do they ever sleep?

(That’s sarcasm again).

Then, well… you end up with the following Mashbills and mixes:

Mashbills:

  • 10 yr. Four Roses bourbon (75% corn, 20% rye & 5% barley malt)
  • 12 yr. LDI straight rye (95% rye & 5% barley malt),
  • 16 yr. Barton straight rye (53% rye, 37% corn & 10% malt).

I mean… nothing is under 10 years old! And it’s mixed together, with three different styles of bourbon and rye!

I mean…. this is madness. The first time they did it they were sitting on three different bourbons they could slap a silly cowboy theme on and call it a day.

But they didn’t. They mixed it up and made this.

So how does it taste? Well at this point I won’t tell you yet, as reading goes from top to bottom.

Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

HW Bourye 2014 1.jpg

Price: N/A in Ontario

Region: Utah

Abv: 46%

Colour: 7.5YR 6/8

Nose: Peanut, honey, marzipan, cherry, sweet wheat, casia buds, blueberry muffin, butterscotch

Wicked nose on this one. Tons of just different and interesting notes.

Unique is the best way to put this. It has different layers of sweets, spice, and nuttiness. Probably one of the better noses I’ve had in awhile.

If you do try this, give a lot of time just nosing it. So good.

Taste: Cashew, sawdust, dusty, rosemary, candy corn

Kinda a let down with the taste. I’m not getting the interesting notes of the nose. Actually I’m more so getting a light amount of things I enjoy, and ones I do not.

There’s too much dusty/sawdust element here. Perhaps too much older rye? Or maybe the low Abv has taken away the subtle notes from the nose. Either way, it’s a let down like finding out Kramppus isn’t actually taking away the bad kids in their sleep.

Finish: Melon, oak, vanilla, caramel, dry pear, smoke, butter, dandelion

Long finish. It’s an apology letter of a finish. Nothing crazy like the nose, however very nicely mellow, good amounts of dry/sweet notes, and just the hint of vegetal/smoke elements I enjoy.

Again, not as unique as the nose, however the quality is there.

Conclusion: So I originally thought I’d gush over this one given the hype. And it is the one made in 2014, which I’ve heard isn’t as good as the original, but I haven’t had it, so nothing to say there.

What I will say is this: It’s still a good dram. If you’re a huge nose fanatic, and not a complete package fanatic (like myself), then this is an easy buy. Hell it’s an easy case buy.

And given the good price, quality work, and quite tasty finish, I’d even have trouble buying some myself. It’s a great dram. I would prefer a better taste overall, that’s all. So it lost quite a few points.

And that’s okay. Because High West makes other things I love more. And that means less competition for the rest of you as you hunt this quality whiskey down, like the White Stag that it is.

83/100

Bourbon review #128, Utah review #6, Whiskey Network review #748

1001 Whiskies You Must Taste Before You Die review #294

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