The main advantage to having family in Utah is somewhat reliable access to High West special releases including this year’s distillery only release of a Rendezvous Rye finished for 8 months in Jamaican Rum barrels. I am usually a fan of sweet finishes for rye whiskey and of High West’s barrel selects so I was very excited to get a bottle of this release! After having Blood Oath 5 and Dovetail earlier this year I am also pretty hyped on rum finishes in general. Let’s see if this lives up to all that hype.
Abv: 103.6 proof
Nose: Rich and inviting with an herbal medley and sweet notes of vanilla and something fruity.
Taste: Warm herbs and spices are balanced with subtle oak and sweet vanilla notes backed by a nice, viscous mouthfeel
Finish: Long, warm and sweet with fading herbal notes and lingering sweet fruit, oak and warm spice.
Well that was delicious. I often find that MGP ryes can have a bit too much dill for me but a sweet barrel finish on a well selected barrel tends to clear that right up. The 8 month rum finish here added some nice oak and sweet fruit notes compared to the regular offering but didn’t overwhelm the signature MGP herbal notes. The higher proof and extra time in a barrel definitely help add some more complexity to the taste and viscosity to the mouthfeel which is what Rendezvous Rye is lacking imo. I poured a glass of regular Rendezvous Rye to taste side by side with this release and it was a big step up.
After drinking this, I’m definitely looking forward to the next Rendezvous Rye barrel select and this years MWND!
TL;DR: Awesome release, sweet finishes on Rendezvous Rye tend to be my thing, not quite at the level of the 4 year port finished release
9 - a favorite I’d like to keep on my shelf
Great - A great deal, I’d buy it again