Sunday, November 15, 2020

High West Double Rye, Masterson’s, Old Potrero; Who says it has to be fRYEday…

… to review rye whiskey? My blog and my glass mean my rules! Plus, I really do need to get through as many pending reviews hanging over my head as I can before I lose motivation.

High West Double Rye Batch 17K21
Note: This being a bottle from 2017 is a blend of 2 year MGP and 16 year Barton rye whiskey. Starting in 2018, High West’s own rye replaced the Barton portion to mixed opinions. Since my bottle happens to be old… well I’m reviewing it for what it is. This cost me ~$37 at a local store. Another random note… High West seems to use a lot of recycled glass bottles which is great for them and the environment and makes for an unusual bottle on the shelf.
This has eucalyptus notes on the nose and palate for me as do a lot of ryes. Sweet and light having lots of complexity in its light flavors but at the same time… lacking a little bit of something for me. I’m torn. On one hand its excellent light rye bottle, and on the other… its… almost ‘boring?’. I feel like I’m in the whiskey game in the search of interesting and palate-pleasing flavors and this is the one of the most divisive bottles I’ve had on recent memory. Its both great and not great at the same time, while I cannot even articulate why I’m not a fan of it. Perhaps I’m imagining its having a slightly soapy aftertaste? I guess the bottle name does ring true with the “double” portion of it. Somewhat workable as sipping light rye and probably better for mixing, and it may be little too light for that too. Don’t chase this down.
Score: C

Masterson’s 10 Straight Rye Hungarian Oak Finish #PSH4
A 10 year Canadian Rye… okay… Finished in Hungarian Oak? Sign me up! Did I mention I’m a sucker for different finishes and single casks? The nose is full of wooden vanilla and… just wood without the typical char notes that bourbon evokes. Perhaps sweet oak? Let’s go with that. The palate doesn’t disappoint. This is continuation of everything the nose promised on the palate. This is actually great stuff. As with most rye whiskey, this has few eucalyptus notes but they are hidden and well integrated into the overall experience. There’s not much there to fault in this pour and I expect others that like lighter rye would agree with me. A fantastic drink that’s hard to equate to anything else I’ve had in the past.
Score: B+

Old Potrero Straight Rye Single Barrel #13 (KnL Pick)
Mark J. does an great in-depth review of this bottle here: https://the-right-sp … ye-single-barrel-13/
In Mark’s words: “gorgeous”. This is 100% malted rye. Yes, the ‘malted rye’ may be a polarizing topic, but for me, this is amazing stuff. The nose is definitely rye eucalyptus, but at the same time luscious dark brown sugar caramel and rye bread smell. I can spend a long time just nosing my glass. Very sweet and potent on the palate this whiskey is an experience rather than a drink. This hits right up my alley, sugar, fresh rye bread taste and smell, delicious nose, and supersaturated palate that’s almost syrup-like in its consistency. Strong proof and a long-lasting aftertaste of the primary palate flavors with no downsides for me. Certainly an experience that’s unlikely to be repeated anytime soon. Did I get another bottle? Oh yes I did! Will it emotionally scar those that aren’t the fans of this profile? Yes it may. More for me then! Unique, weird, sweet, delicious and oh-so tasty. Yay!
Score: A

Addendum here. Old Potrero Rye Port Cask finish with high proof is up the same alley if slightly more generic.

Scoring Breakdown: https://www.aerin.or … age=scores_breakdown