This company is doing great things. Their transparency, while not all encompassing, is still refreshing and quite a bit more honest than most of their whisky sourcing competition. I’m very interested in seeing how their house-distilled, oat and rye stocks turn out. Hopefully, they’ve laid down a strong foundation to bottle from and we’ll see some exciting stuff somewhere on down the line. In the meantime, I’m as excited to try any other blended or sourced products they choose to send to market.
This Rendezvous Rye is, like the Double Rye!, a mix of Barton and MGPI straight rye stocks. The MGPI component is now 6 years old instead of 2, but still the classic 95/5 mashbill. The Barton stock is still 16, but pushes the rye in the mashbill from 53% up to 80% with the remainder evenly split between corn and malt. The lack of corn sweetness plays out in a much bolder, spicier expression. It’s grittier, with more herbs and resin; a very sturdy spirit with a fearless streak.
Nose: Darker, much spicier and not nearly as sweet as the Double Rye! Potatoes and flapjacks served by an old lady who’s wearing a lot of perfume. Batter fried ether. Sun beaten saddle leather smeared with sweet potato pie. Granite boulders brought to life by Bob Ross, living under happy little pine trees. Charred apples and mint. Smacks of sage, rosemary and cocoa powder.
Palate: Slightly bitter and ethery, opening up to brown butter sauce as you forge on. Charcoal pencil. Pickles and sweet potato pie. Bolder than the Double Rye. Grilled candy apple, charred around the edges. Powdered potatoes with dried herbs. Cooling finish that leaves your tongue and gums a little numb and lights a little fire in your chest.
While the Rendezvous seems truer to the spirit of the grain, I can’t help but miss the slightly younger, cheaper Double Rye! It’s a hard act to follow. This one is more expensive at $45-50 and has more of a chemical signature to it, though it’s a fine rye none the less.
Thank you Katie Flanagan for High West for the bottle!