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John_Regehr
01-15-2008, 23:01
Ran across this in the Salt Lake City wine store today, and a quick (but hopefully competent) search here turned up no previous discussion:

High West Whiskey: Rendezvous, A blend of straight rye whiskies

92 proof, $40

back label specifies a blend of 6-year-old 95% rye and 17-year-old 80% rye

distilled apparently in Park City, UT

I am no good at writing those little descriptions but it is tasty. Pretty sweet and lots of cinnamon. On the rye intensity spectrum where Old Potrero is the maximum, it comes in substantially more ryey (?) than most.

John

Rughi
01-15-2008, 23:17
a blend of 6-year-old 95% rye and 17-year-old 80% rye

Do these percentages refer to the mashbills of the two distillations?


distilled apparently in Park City, UT

A google search yielded this article (http://www.parkrecord.com/business/ci_7902914)about High West Distillery:

And, from one of the "Best of" (http://www.slweekly.com/index.cfm?oID=449BBE6E-021E-D69E-7A3370304BA7D31B&do=article.details&id=1CA7B4DF-2BF4-55D0-F1F14089E3738144)that seems to be a staple of every metro's free weekly:

"BEST WHISKEY STILL IN THE MAKING
The High West Distillery
During prohibition, whiskey came to Park City hidden in the bottom of coffins. Now the city is set to be home to a legal still, likely the first ever in Utah. Parkite David Perkins has secured federal and state permits to set up a large pot still imported from Germany. He beat out other contenders in a competition, winning the right to use historic property on Park Avenue near the Town Lift. He plans to make bourbon, scotch, vodka and rye at The High West Distillery, where patrons can judge results in person. Stay tuned."

It appears to be a startup that bought in some distillate for the startup period.

I'll see if I can pick up a bottle when I'm in SLC next week. Them East Bay'ers are voracious for their rye.

Roger

jinenjo
01-15-2008, 23:44
I'll see if I can pick up a bottle when I'm in SLC next week. Them East Bay'ers are voracious for their rye.

Roger

Mmmmm.:cool:

John_Regehr
01-16-2008, 08:45
Do these percentages refer to the mashbills of the two distillations?

Sorry-- the label did not appear to be clear on this. Hope you get a bottle. It was right next to the Van Winkle 13yo Rye at the same price, making for a tough choice :).

John

Rughi
01-16-2008, 09:13
Thanks John,
Does High West seem to be carried by many State Stores, or are there only select stores in SLC that would have it?

My experience is that every store carried about the same selection, but I never compared that closely.

Roger

Gillman
01-16-2008, 09:35
Good eye John, thanks.

People are seeing the opportunities of using the concept of a blend of straight rye whiskeys, an old category in the trade and still in the law but unjustly neglected in recent years. The years of age mentioned might suggest Buffalo Trace-supplied stocks were used but of course who knows?

Gary

John_Regehr
01-16-2008, 10:08
Thanks John,
Does High West seem to be carried by many State Stores, or are there only select stores in SLC that would have it?

I've seen it only at the wine store on 300 E, which does seem to have a better selection of high-end spirits than the average Utah state store. However I have not been to any of the other stores lately. The guy working at the checkout commented that the High West distillery owner had been at the wine store a few days ago signing bottles.

John

John_Regehr
01-16-2008, 11:31
My experience is that every store carried about the same selection, but I never compared that closely.

Just to elaborate a bit since it looks like you visit SLC frequently... my observation is that the state stores are basically equivalent (though I have visited only a couple) but that the wine store on 300 E generally has a different selection.

American whiskies I have seen only at the wine store include: old and young Sazerac, Thomas Handy Rye, WL Weller Reserve, Van Winkle Rye 13, Hirsch 16.

Seen only at a "regular" state store (the one in the Avenues): two kinds of Dickel, Corner Creek Reserve, Old Granddad, Rittenhouse BIB.

John

cowdery
01-17-2008, 11:14
The whiskey would have to get label approval and, under the Standards of Identity, "a blend of straight rye whiskies" means a blended whiskey that contains not less than 51 percent straight rye whiskey on a proof gallon basis. So this is a spirit blend, but instead of being more than 63% vodka, like Seven Crown, it's 49% vodka, with the rest being straight rye.

As for the "6-year-old 95% rye and 17-year-old 80% rye," I wonder is "%" is supposed to be "proof," since 95 and 80 sound more like proofs than mash bills. Their straight whiskeys likely were sourced from the usual suspects, which don't make any 95% or even 80% ryes on a mash bill basis.

cowdery
01-17-2008, 12:21
Boy, this 60-minute limit on editing is tough. I can't always find my mistakes that fast (or, as in this case, have someone point them out to me).

The above from me is wrong. "A blend of straight rye whiskeys" contains no vodka (i.e., neutral spirits). It is just as the name implies, a mixture of straight rye whiskeys which, for some reason, does not conform to the standards for being called straight whiskey.

Always a challenge to parse those regs, especially for the categories, like this one, that are rarely used.

John_Regehr
01-20-2008, 19:58
Thanks for the clarification Chuck! Your first message kind of made me choke on my whiskey :).

Rughi
01-25-2008, 13:56
I picked up a bottle yesterday, which turned out less easy than anticipated. I went to two liquor stores, and was told at each one that the distiller had just been there buying up their stock to present at the film festival in Park City. One was left at the State and 3300 S store when I got there. I'm told they have nearly sold out of the first batch.

I read the back label and found the whole percentage discussion as mucked up as it first sounded in this thread.

I think us East Bay'ers will see if we can sleuth out the origins of the juice from it's flavor in February.

Roger

PS - Sadly, I was told that Rittenhouse is discontinued in Utah State Stores. I'm hoping the store clerk misspoke, but both stores I visited did have their Rittenhouse shelf tags removed. That was always a high point of my SLC trips when Rittenhouse was unavailable in California.

Roger

John_Regehr
01-26-2008, 13:32
I think us East Bay'ers will see if we can sleuth out the origins of the juice from it's flavor in February.

I look forward to hearing the results of this analysis.


PS - Sadly, I was told that Rittenhouse is discontinued in Utah State Stores.Roger

This is a bummer for sure. There are a number of ryes available but none even approaching the quality per $ of the Rittenhouse BIB.