Tucked up in the high desert wilderness outside the tiny town of Wanship, the High West Distillery location is a sight to behold, its owner, High West CEO David Perkins, who already made history opening the original High West Park City location in 2007, Utah’s first distillery since the 1870s. High West began with humble roots, opening a small, 250-gallon still and Saloon in an historic livery stable and garage. What was once a small operation in downtown Park City has grown to be an internationally-recognized brand with four unique locations. In 2015, High West opened their distillery in Wanship, Utah, which acts as a space for educational whiskey tasting, pairings and tours, and houses a 1600-gallon copper pot still. Meanwhile, the Saloon continues to operate as a must-visit gastro-distillery, featuring alpine-inspired western fare alongside the original still, the Nelson Cottage offers unique whiskey-paired dinners, and the Saloon at the Salt Lake City airport allows for some last tastes of High West on the way out of town. High West’s products have received numerous accolades and awards. In 2016, Whisky Advocate, America’s leading whiskey magazine, named High West its “Distiller of the Year.”
A deep, dark copper in colour. There’s an absolute rye explosion of licorice, honey, fennel, and dill followed by a rush of guava, lychee, and a little banana. Tropical yet slightly herbal and vegetal fruit presence. Even with the older whiskey, you get hints of oak, cinnamon, and grain. Swirling kicks up the bouquet to another gear with mint, licorice, fennel, dill, and pine needles. The fruitiness flips and freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit take over as the primary fruit supplemented with cherry, guava, and lychee. Oak plays a supporting role, providing a gentle air of dark and roasted oak, but is still able to provide just enough darkness and spice to make this smell like an old-fashioned. Just like the other great high-rye rye whiskeys, Rendezvous Rye’s nose is ridiculously bright, vibrant, tropical, and rich on the finish.