High West 12 Year Old Whiskey

Difford's Guide

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Product Information

Closure: Screw / Stelvin cap

More about High West 12 Year Old

Produced by: High West Distillery
no bottle image

alc./vol: 46%

Proof: 92°

Vintage: Non-vintage

Aged: No age statement

Product of: Product of United States United States

This 12-year-old rye was made at the Seagrams Distillery in Lawrenceberg Indiana, originally destined for Japan as a 6-year-old rye in 2003. Apparently five barrels didn't fit in the shipping container and were "rediscovered" when Pernod Ricard sold the Indiana plant to Angostura in 2008.
High West was lucky enough to acquire these due to being friendly with Larry Ebersold, Seagrams' head distiller from 1983 to 2003.

To quote directly from High West's website: "Prior to the 1980s, Seagram's made rye using a mashbill of 52 per cent rye, corn and rye malt. A higher rye mashbill was considered problematic because rye is very sticky and foams considerably during fermentation. After 1983, Larry and his team experimented with different recipes to add variety to Seagrams' blending inventory.

The rye recipe changed to 80 per cent then to 95 per cent rye and 5 per cent rye malt. In the early 90s they changed from rye malt to lower priced barley malt and the mashbill has stayed the same ever since. This whiskey is also made with the "infusion" or low temperature cooking method, which preserves more of the grain's spicy flavors."

Review and Tasting


Sampled on 30/08/2011

Appearance:

Clear, deep bronze with bright golden highlights.

Aroma:

Refined obviously spicy rye with clove and cinnamon spice, chargrilled corn-on-the-cob and buttered toast.

Taste:

Superbly complex palate with old leathery rye and cinnamon led spice, dried apple fruit, honey, caramel, hazelnuts and bitter chocolate.

Aftertaste:

Long, dry oaky, spicy finish has a smokiness to it that is freshened by fresh mint.

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