Review: High West Bourye Whiskey 2018


This year’s High West Distillery’s release of Bourye is marvelous!

It’s so good I just knew it had to be the first statement for this post.  Bourye is an annual limited edition bourbon and rye whiskey blended by the Utah-based distillery.  Blending is something the company does really well.  They are also adept at transparency.  The component whiskies for the 2018 release come from MGP in Indiana.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • 12-year-old straight bourbon (75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malted barley)
  • 11-year-old straight bourbon (75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malted barley)
  • 11-year-old straight bourbon (60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malted barley)
  • 14-year-old straight rye whiskey (95% rye, 5% malted barley)
  • 13-year-old straight rye whiskey (95% rye, 5% malted barley)

While the exact percentage of each whiskey remains undisclosed, the company says this bottling is very similar in the age and taste profile of the very first release.  Bourye is bottled at 92 proof and available for $79.99.

The nose here is ripe with honey, baking spices, dark caramel, and hints of oak.  Those aromas carry over to the palate.  Rich, sweet and spicy are the themes here.  Spiced honey and slightly burnt caramel kick things off.  Those rye spice notes ramp up quickly, complementing the whiskey’s richness.  A slight undercurrent of candied orange peel and vanilla run throughout.  Elegant oak develops into the long, dry finish.

I like this a little better than last year’s release, which wasn’t too shabby.  I gave that release a 9 out of 10, and I think I’ll give this one the same score.  Don’t get too caught up in the numbers.  Just know the 2018 release of Bourye is well worth a look.  9/10

Thanks to High West for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

High West Bourye (2017) Whiskey Review

The 2017 release of Bourye features a new label, showcasing the brand’s jackalope mascot.

The jackalope is back!

High West Distillery has just released their 2017 batch of Bourye, a blend of bourbon and rye whiskey.  Due to the whiskies used being sourced, Bourye changes a bit from year to year.  This year’s release uses whiskies aged 10 to 14 years, distilled at MGP in Indiana.  While the specific ages of the whiskies or ratios used aren’t being disclosed, their mash bills have.  The sourced bourbons carry a mash bill of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley.  The rye whiskies are made with MGP’s very familiar mash bill:  95% rye and 5% malted barley. SRP is $80.

I really enjoyed last year’s Bourye release.  How does this one compare?  Overall, a touch sweeter than last year’s batch.

The nose carries hints of slightly burnt brown sugar, freshly baked cinnamon rolls, rye spice and light aromatic herbs and ripe red fruits.  On the palate, caramel sweetness quickly gives way to cinnamon and other baking spices.  The longer you hold the whiskey in your mouth, the more spices develop.  Ginger.  Allspice.  Cloves.  Wonderful!  Complementing that spicy character is a rich vanilla cream topped with red fruits.  A touch of the MGP dill note I’m sensitive to briefly shows.  The finish is long, warm and inviting, leaving behind rye spice and a touch of dark caramel.

I love the interplay between the spicy and sweet notes that are at play here.  It goes to show what can happen when skilled blenders get their hands on some great whiskies.  Another wonderful release from High West!  Highly recommended!  9/10

Thanks to High West for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

High West Bourye (2016) Review

The original bourbon and rye whiskey blend, High West’s Bourye hits shelves again in a limited release.  The first batch several years ago was a big hit for the Utah distillery.  Though High West distills whiskey, a large percentage of the current releases include sourced whiskies, something the distillery is very open about.

High West Bourye

All of the whiskies in this blend are sourced from MGP in Indiana.  They include a 9-year-old bourbon (75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malted barley), 13-year-old rye whiskey and 17-year-old rye whiskey.  The mashbill for the rye whiskies is 95% rye, 5% malted barley.  High West isn’t disclosing ratio of each whiskey in this blend.  Bourye is non-chill filtered and bottled at a very sippable 92 proof.  The suggested retail price is $79.99.

The rich nose comes across as more high-rye bourbon than rye whiskey upon pouring the glass. After a few moments, the aromatic rye whiskies make you stand up and take notice.  The older rye whiskies provide lovely baking spices, fruit and a not-quite-sharp rye grain, alongside toasted oak.  Corn and caramel come to us courtesy of the bourbon this blend.  The complex entry is full of cinnamon, cloves, rye grain and corn mingled together beautifully over a bed of dark brown sugar and old but not overly-dry oak.  I initially hoped for a higher bottling proof, but here 92 proof is spot on.  I don’t care to add water to this.  The medium-long finish is the weakest part of this whiskey.  It’s pure rye spice over a small amount of saccharine sweetness.  That odd sweetness is slightly disappointing, but still worthy of the whiskey overall.

Folks, I have a feeling this will make my Top 10 favorite whiskies list at the end of the year.  High West founder David Perkins and Head Distiller Brendan Coyle have done a fantastic job of balancing a nicely aged bourbon and older rye whiskies.  You really get the best of both worlds.  The strong nose and full-bodied palate cover the slight shortcomings of the finish, and at the end of the day it’s a whiskey I’m glad I tasted.  This batch of Bourye is highly recommended.

(Note: A small review sample was provided by High West.)