High West Rendezvous Rye Whiskey is a high rye content blended whiskey. It High West’s flagship whiskey, an authentic and uncompromising rye whiskey.
The High West Distillery was founded in 2006 by David Perkins. It is located in Old Town Park City, Utah and was the first legal distillery in Utah since 1870. The original High West Distillery & Saloon is located at an altitude of 7000 feet and was billed as the world’s only “Ski-in Gastro-distillery.”
Founder David Perkins was a originalyl a biochemist and, after a trip to the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, had noted the similarities between fermentation and distilling and his job in biochemistry. With this in mind David relocated his family to Utah, in part because of his love of the old west and partly to pay homage to Utah’s little known whiskey heritage. The first spirit was distilled in 2007 using a small 250 gallon pot still at the saloon. In 2016 founder David Perkins sold the High West Distillery to Constellation Brands where it joins other prestigious spirits brands including Casa Noble Tequila and The Real McCoy Rum.
Today the company has four sites including a new distillery in Wanship, Utah with a 1600 gallon copper pot still and visitor’s centre. There is capacity for another 3 stills at the site. As well as a range of whiskies, High West also produces 7000 Vodka and limited edition and seasonal products. The annual production is now around 70,000 cases of whiskey per year. As well as producing their own spirit High West have always used some whisky from other producers. A key supplier is the MGP Distillery (ex-Seagram’s) in Lawrenceburg, Indiana and they also use a Scotch Blended Malt Whisky in Campfire, for example.
High West Rendezvous Rye Whiskey is a blend of two, older, straight rye whiskies aged between 4 and 7 years. Blended in a secret ration, these have the following mashbills:
- 95% rye, 5% barley malt from MGP
- 80% rye, 20% malted rye from High West Distillery
Aged in new charred, American white oak barrels. High West do not chill filter their whiskies preferring to retain the natural oils that contribute to the flavour, texture and lingering finish. Bottled at 46% ABV (92 Proof), the minimum proof where chill haze is less likely to form.
High West Rendezvous Rye Whiskey is named after the first recorded “Whiskey Fest”. From 1825 to 1840, the “rendezvous” was the annual summer gathering of mountain men to exchange pelts for supplies. Alcohol was not one of the “supplies” at the first rendezvous. This oversight was quickly corrected with a generous supply of whiskey at the second rendezvous in Utah’s Cache Valley (and all subsequent rendezvous!).