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High West Rendezvous Rye, finished in used bourbon barrels

Posted on by Eric Burke

Funny thing happened to me on the way to write this post tonight. Though let me step back a bit first. 

A month or so ago my little girl (she’s in her mid twenties) decided that she was going to buy herself a motorcycle. Everyone asked if I was upset. I wasn’t. She’s a grown woman. It’s her decision to make. She got her motorcycle permit and tried for her license. She didn’t get it the first time so she decided to practice a bit more. 

One day, when she comes over to show it off, the bike won’t start. Battery was dead. On top of that as she was trying to start it, she hit the throttle and flooded it. After we charge the battery it starts and because she’s never had a vehicle old enough to flood, she immediately kills it trying to hit the throttle. So she fires it up again and this time she listens to me and lets it run. Everything seems to be going good. She rides home and I go back to work.

The next day it does it again only this time she is at work. Luckily she works in an auto garage and someone there can give the bike a jump. At this point she starts thinking she needs a battery. It’s a thirty year old bike and who knows how old the battery is, so I help her change it. 

Yesterday, two days after changing the battery, it does it again. As she is complaining about the new battery, I mention that the dead battery is probably just a symptom of something else. She’s young and still knows everything so she placates me with a yes. She’s near a friend’s house so she pushes it over there and decides she is going to try to ride it home today.

Today, she get’s a couple miles down the road when it dies again and she calls me for a jump. Now, by this time we both know that a jump is only a half-measure so she can try to limp it home. By the time I get there, she’s found out it’s not even going to limp. It won’t stay running long enough to even get into gear, much less go down the road. Luckily about this time, a nice (strong) guy on his own bike stops by. Together we devise a plan to get her bike in the back of the truck. 

I have a tall truck, unfortunately. But luckily, there is a park and a business with a large lawn on the side of the road. And even luckier, there is a walkway with a slight hill between the road and the park. So I drive the truck into the lawn so that my tailgate is even with the top of the berm. The nice strong guy and I push the bike into the back. I tie it down as best I can and drive slowly down the side roads to get home. 

Once home though, I realize I have no strong guy to help me get it out of the truck. Just my wife and daughter. Luckily my driveway is on a hill and the neighbors here are nice. We put a few pallets behind the truck and stair step it onto the driveway. Now I have a broken down motorcycle to sit next to the broken down jeep she is storing in my garage. And after man handling a 450 pound motorcycle for a few hours, I’m too tired to write a post that is in-depth and well researched. Instead, I’m just going to grab a whiskey and relax for a moment. 

And what whiskey will I relax with tonight? Recently I bought a bottle of High West Rendezvous Rye that had been finished in used Bourbon Barrels for an additional 1.9 years. This is a tasty rye that according to their website is made up of a six year old MGP rye and a 16 year old Barton Rye. This is normally a very tasty rye. The additional couple years in the bourbon barrel add a bit of sweetness to round it out. 

Neat this is a tasty rye, but recently I tried something else with it. I had an ounce left of Very Old Barton 86 proof. I got to thinking that I might try a blend with it so I had a full pour. I added three-quarters of an ounce of this rye and then a quarter ounce of Mellow Corn. It’s a real Franken-Whiskey. But you know what? It was really good. The rye shone through as the star with the bourbon and the corn whiskey adding a touch of sweetness and a nice mouthfeel. that is an experiment to revisit someday, but not tonight. Tonight it will be my favorite cocktail. 

Whiskey in a glass.

High West Rendezvous Rye, finished in used bourbon barrels

Purchase info: $59.99 for a 750 bottle, Ace Spirits, Hopkins, MN

Details: 52.4% ABV Barrel # 2065. Bottle # 24. Store selection by Ace Spirits. Finished in used bourbon barrels for an additional 1.9 years.

Nose: Pumpernickel rye bread, mint, allspice and nutmeg.

Mouth: Hot and spicy with sweet caramel, vanilla, mint, oak and baking spices. 

Finish: Long and sweet with mint that fades to reveal more baking spices underneath.

a smile because I like this one.

Thoughts: This is a delicious rye. The blend of old and younger ryes lend spiciness and depth while the finishing adds sweetness. This is fantastic and I can highly recommend giving it (or another like it) a try.


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