Shoe buckles. A canvas tarp grommet. Redskin peanuts boiled in safflower oil with the slightly burned skins still on. All of this bursts from the remarkable nose of this rye-bomb whiskey, like one of Ferdinand the Bull’s tormentors charging at a barrel filled with one clown and three pecks of dried corn. The mouth is peppery and races over my teeth and gums like a Dakar Rally car about to overtake a pair of tandem hang gliders. Of course there are notes of Bugles™ filled with alfalfa cream, the kind you’d find in the nightmare of a cannoli baker on the eve of a huge wedding delivery. We thought that the rye cut in on the finish like a reuben from the Stage Deli; the bread is generously slathered with smoky butter and marzipan Jiffypop™. But at this point you’ve discovered that your buzzbee flying disk, recently retrieved from an irrigation ditch, was then heedlessly hefted over a hedgerow of arbor vitae into a wedding reception punch bowl.
The High West Son of Bourye is Edward Bulwer-Lytton of “It was a dark and stormy night” fame–Whether you think he had perfervid turgidity or Victorian eloquence, Bulwer-Lytton is certainly noteworthy, as is this unique whiskey.
*–Our thanks to Troy Karnes and the great people at High West for the sample!