Monday, March 21, 2016

The Return of Bourye

High West opened up a new category when it first introduced Bourye in 2010. A blend of 10 year old Four Roses Bourbon, 12 year old LDI rye and 16 year old Barton Rye, it wasn't the first blend of bourbon and rye (blended whiskey has a long, if sketchy, history) but it was the first in recent memory to create a premium blend of the two American whiskeys. As those older whiskeys started to dry up, High West introduced the Son of Bourye, made from younger components.

Now, High West has rereleased Bourye as a limited release. The new Bourye is all all MGP affair, made up of three whiskeys: a 9 year old bourbon, a 13 year old rye and a 17 year old rye.

High West Bourye, Batch 16A13, 46% abv ($70)

This has a great bold, rye nose with a touch of maple syrup. The palate is much drier than the nose would indicate. It has good rye spice, a touch of sweetness which comes up quickly, then fades and is followed by a mild bitterness. The finish is dry and spicy with some nice sandalwood notes on the nose.

It's been a long time since I tried the original recipe Bourye, but based on my memory of it, this one has less bourbon character and tastes much more like a rye. While it's different from the original, it's quite good in its own right with lots of bold rye notes and a nice dryness to it.

Thanks to High West for the sample.


Will said...

Anyone have a good handle on old vs. new Bourye labeling? I've seen three label's out there; one with both Batch No. and Bottle No., one with just the batch number and non chill filtered/no color added below it, and the one pictured with batch number and "limited release". I get the sense they were released in that order with first one being the old batch while the latter two are the more recent batch? I also thought this was back for the foreseeable future and not a limited edition until that started popping up on the latest label?

sku said...

According to Dave Perkins from High West, they plan to release 1,000 to 2,000 cases every year in the first quarter of the year. He called it a "regular limited release."

Will said...

Thanks sku, looks like that second label I mentioned was the 2015 release which apparently still had some Barton in it. It'll be interesting to see the changes each year.

tanstaafl2 said...

The Bourye release from last year did indeed still have some Barton rye although it was the 16yo 80% rye mashbill rather than the Barton 16yo 53% rye mashbill that I am pretty sure was used in the original Bourye. Last years release also had 2 MGP ryes, a 10yo and a 16yo to go along with the 9yo LDI 75% corn bourbon mashbill.

I am pretty sure your recollection of the order of labels is correct but would have to check later today when I can get to the bottles to confirm. Will have to keep an eye out for the new label with "limited release" on it.

I suppose the whiskey in the blend could be different every year depending on what is readily available for this ongoing "regular limited release".

David C said...

I'm a little late to the game here but.. Just tried a bottle I purchased from K&L back in February. batch # but no bottle number. thought it was OK after a pop and pour in February. Just tried again tonight. Wow, nose was perfume of rye/bourbon. Taste was not far from the 21 rye that I sadly have no more of. In fact may have a little more gitty up than than the 21 rye because of the youth. Sadly,no more in stock at K&L.