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High West Double Rye vs Woodford Reserve Rye: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between High West Double Rye vs Woodford Reserve Rye in this in-depth comparison and decide which Rye Whiskey is better for You!

High West Double Rye

high-west-whiskey
NoseHoneysuckle, oak, cinnamon
PalateClover honey, apple cider, mint, oak, cinnamon
FinishMedium to long, apple pie, rye spice
Alcohol content92 proof (46% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toRedemption Rye, High West Rendezvous

The nose offers a subtle sweet aroma, along oak and cinnamon.

On the palate the High West provides a nice buttery feel, starts out sweet, followed by rye spice, mint, and cinnamon.

The finish is smooth with very little to no burn, leaving an aftertaste rich in rye spice, baking spices and brown sugar. There is a bit of black pepper on the tail, but nothing terrible as it goes down smoothly.

The High West Double Rye drinks nicely neat, although a drop of water will bring-out some sweetness making it an easier drinker.

Overall, the High West is a good option for those who want a sweet rye, not too spicy, with very little burn. There is nothing remarkable or outstanding about the High West but it drinks nicely, nonetheless.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the High West Double Rye:

  • This is a blend of 2 straight rye whiskeys with ages ranging from 2-7 years. The current offering no longer includes a 16 year whiskey in the blend.
  • The first whiskey is distilled at the MGP Distillery in Indiana using a mash 95% rye and 5% malted barley.
  • The second whiskey is crafted at High West using 80% rye and 20% malted barley.
  • Earned a score of 90 points from Whisky Advocate.
  • The High West Distillery is located in Park City, Utah better known for some of the best ski slopes in the world.

Woodford Reserve Straight Rye

woodford-reserve-rye
NoseOak, vanilla, rye spice
PalateRipe fruit, rye spice, vanilla, oak
FinishLong, vanilla, tobacco, oak spice
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toBulleit Rye

The Woodford Reserve Rye is a “barely legal” Rye Whiskey as it only carries a bit over the minimum of rye in the mash established by law to belong to this category.

This makes it taste like a spicy version of the much beloved Woodford Reserve Bourbon.

Woodford Rye has a nose rich in oak at first and as you let it develop vanilla and rye spice appear.

The first sip provides mild rye spice followed by rich and sweet hints of vanilla and a fruity note that tastes like apricot. The body has a good texture, not too creamy but thick nonetheless.

The finish is long and pleasantly warm with little burn leaving vanilla and a bit of oak spice.

The Woodford Reserve Rye drinks nicely neat, due to its low rye content it does not have much spiciness making it quite easy to sip.

If you add a little ice it will become even smoother and will bring out some sweet vanilla making it more enjoyable.

It shares many features of the much beloved Woodford Reserve such as the signature toasty note oak, yet I prefer the Rye over the Bourbon as this provides tastier cocktails due to the spicy character of rye.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Woodford Reserve Rye:

  • Made from a mash of 53% rye, 33% corn and 14% malted barley.
  • There is no age statement on the Woodford Reserve Rye, but it is a straight rye so that means it’s at least 4 years old.
  • Woodford Reserve Rye is crafted in its own distillery in Woodford County, Kentucky.

Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
High West Double Rye$28
Woodford Reserve Straight Rye$32

High West Double Rye vs Woodford Reserve Rye: Which is better?

Woodford Reserve Rye has many notes in common with the regular Bourbon

  • The Woodford Reserve Rye is a crowd-pleaser as it drinks almost like its Bourbon sibling with a bit more spice.
  • If you have enjoyed the Woodford Reserve Bourbon you are gonna like the Straight Rye as they have much in common.
  • The High West, on the other hand, is quite good and offers a richer rye presence in the mash which you can tell as it is more spicy than the Woodford without being overwhelming, making a better whiskey for those exclusively looking for a mixer to make spicy cocktails.

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