David Perkins started High West after visiting Maker's Mark Distillery and falling in love with bourbon. With a successful career in pharmaceuticals, he took all his knowledge and turned it into whisky. When David Perkins was our guest on The Whisky Topic, he noted that whisky and pharma aren't all that different: they both require biochemistry, and the work you do today won't be available to the public for up to a decade.
When he learned he could sell other people's whisky first, he knew he had the potential for a successful business (which he more recently sold for a good pile of cash). While High West does make their own whisky, it's still young, and they've become famous for selling other people's whisky with interesting blends many could consider sacrilege.
Bourye is just that, pure sacrilege–it’s a blend of rye and bourbon. The name Bourye is playfully simple, but as is most often the case, High West pulls it off by bringing out an excellent whisky. Bourye is released in batches. As these things go, the first batch is said to be the "best" one. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything having tried the 14L16 batch. High West continues to innovate in their blending process, and Bourye is a good bottle of bourbon and rye combined.
High West Bourye Batch 14L16
Category: American Whisky, Bourbon & Rye Blend, NAS
Nose: Distiller's grain, yeasty bread goodness. Nice, not overpowering, but just so beautiful with those notes. Dusty, bright floral notes, subtle caramels.
Palate: Quick hit of caramel flavor. It's thin, but that's not a complaint. The flavor comes through with intensity from start to finish. Not being an oak bomb means the subtler caramel notes are beautiful. The char from younger (or older) barrels is also coming though. Nice tanginess on either side of the tongue. The finish is unique in so far that the tanginess and acidic notes hang out for a while, with lesser sweet notes.
Whisky Cabinet Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ Excellent, a near must-have for the category
Bourye is pleasing on every part of the palate. The nose is inviting. The char comes through. The caramels are light. It hits great highs. It's a bright, bright whisky. Amazing balance of brightness and sweetness.