High West Bottled-In-Bond Rye Whiskey

Style: Straight Rye Whiskey
Producer: High West
Origin: Utah, USA
ABV: 100 Proof (50% ABV)
Mashbill: 80% rye, 20% malted barley
Age: Non-age stated, but at least four years old
MSRP: $79.99
Availability: Utah only in 2024
Reviewed By: Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Utah’s High West Distillery has long been one of the most prominent American craft whiskey distillers. Founded in 2006 by David Perkins and his wife, Jane, High West became this state’s first legal distillery since 1870. Whiskey was initially produced on a small 250-gallon still, with production later joined by a 1,600-gallon still in 2015. High West is a significant tourism draw in Utah today, boasting four locations, including the original Saloon in Park City that operates as “the world’s only ski-in/ski-out gastro distillery.”

Acquired by Constellation Brands in 2016, High West has made much of its success based on creative and award-winning releases from sourced stock that, over time and in some cases, has increasingly seen in-house, aged whiskey being blended in. Past examples of distillery-only whiskeys have been limited to date, with High Country Single Malt being one example, but now comes the recently released High West Bottled in Bond Rye. This new expression also meets the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 requirements. It is made at a single distillery by a single distiller in a single distilling season, then aged for at least four years in a “federally bonded warehouse” before being bottled at 100 proof.

Specifics of this whiskey indicate it to be a blend of 80% rye and 20% malted barley distilled in the second half of 2018 and aged at least four years. Bottled at 100 proof, it was made at High West’s Wanship, Utah, location.

Given High West’s extremely tight focus on state-of-the-art distilling practices and blending techniques, having a whiskey meet the Bottled in Bond requirements is a task in of itself the distillery team here, led by master distiller Brendan Coyle, seemingly was very ready to tackle. Add on top of that the fact this is a rye – it is much more common to see bourbon in the bottled in bond world – and this is thus a spirit setting a high bar for itself before the bottle is even cracked for tasting.

What The Critics Say

• Bourbon Enthusiast: 3.5/5
• Robb Report: 94/100
• Whiskey Raiders): 90/100

What We Say

Color: The golden amber in this glass is lovely and classic, delivering legs that keep going and a decent viscosity.

Nose: Warm and spice-forward pleasantries greet you on first sniff, broadcasting aromas of rye bread, molasses, plum pudding, brown sugar, and a maple nod.

Palate: Rye spice and brown sugar coat the mouth on first impact, carrying with them baked bread, vanilla, oak, black pepper, toasted almond, and some hints of dark chocolate.

Finish: This brings a lot of spice and a little sweet as it leaves the tasting arena, fading into a long goodbye that is extremely pleasant and lovely in its fade away.

High West has long understood how to get it right regarding rye whiskey, though historically, this was much of a sourced situation for the brand. This Bottled In Bond Rye, being an all-High West in-house distillate, showcases how the distillery also gets the nuances of this whiskey style when it is its own juice. There is no doubt – get yourself a bottle of this.

Rating: Five Stars


★ Not Recommended
★★ Recommended
★★★ Highly recommended
★★★★ Excellent
★★★★★ Ethereal

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is a freelance spirits writer and editor with over a decade of experience covering this topic, focusing on whiskey. He is the former owner and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, a leading independent whiskey lifestyle website. Nino has reviewed and judged whiskey and other spirits for publications and competitions. He is also a member of the Order of The Writ, a Kentucky fraternal organization, in recognition of his coverage of Kentucky bourbon.