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High West Whiskey - Rendezvous RyeProof: 92
Color: medium-dark amber
Nose: caramel, toasted almonds, cinnamon & spice
Taste: mildly sweet, vanilla, candied fruit
Finish: smooth
Value: a bit more than what you might expect; but compared to others in its circle, EXCELLENT bang for the buck.

Inside a bottle that’s too tall to fit in my liquor cabinet and adorned with a cowboy, sits an amber nectar not often found in the wilds of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Cutting to the “let’s not mince words” department: the higher proof (92 proof/46% alcohol by volume) plus the very high rye content makes lookie-lous shy away for fear of a face-ripping, tongue-melting coughing fit.  And those folks are wimps who miss out on the best whiskey (yes, Scotch & Bourbon included!) that I’ve ever had.

Rendezvous Rye is a blend of two rye whiskeys; a 6 year old made from 95% rye and a 16 year old made from 80% rye.  No doubt about it, those are seriously high percentages for any hard liquor calling itself “Rye.”  A straight rye whiskey only needs to be made from 51% rye to meet the definition.  But the guys in Utah making this golden nectar know what they’re doing.  This rye is a clear winner.

Two solid ounces in a crystal tumbler.  Nothing else.  If you mix this whiskey, I will cut you.

Mixing the spice & punch of a young rye whiskey with the mellow sweetness of a properly aged whiskey gives Rendezvous Rye the best of both worlds. The high rye percentage and younger part of the blend give it the cinnamon and spice edge. But it’s the portion of whiskey that has real time spent in the barrel that’s responsible for the vanilla, caramel, and candied fruit tastes.

Yes, I can taste the spice of the rye.  Yes, on first sip the higher proof hits my tongue like a stinging nettle.  But then, all of those minor trifles wash away in a sea of mellow smoothness.  Velvety caramel wraps around my palate with a gentle helping of spice and toast and vanilla…  Yeah, I just dropped some poetry on your ass; this stuff is *that* good.

This is a whiskey that deserves, no, *demands* to be sipped straight. Two solid ounces in a crystal tumbler.  Nothing else.  If you mix this whiskey, I will cut you.

It may be rough finding this bottle locally and you might have to resort to a long drive or an internet order to get one… but once you do, you’ll want it to be a permanent resident in your liquor cabinet.  If you can get the bottle in there, that is.

Final Rating: 98 out of 100