Shaken Not Stirred:
Join us each month for guest articles and editorials
High West Debuts Limited Edition, Rendezvous Rye Label Designed By Renowned Artist, Ed Mell
High West Distillery recently announced that Rendezvous Rye will now be available on May 3rd as a seasonal and limited release. Along with this limited release, there is a special Ed Mell designed label. The limited release is meant to showcase
"the older, more distinguished side of rye whiskey." This release, if you can find it, retails for $69.99 per bottle.
What is Rendezvous Rye?
Rendezvous Rye is one of High West's flagship whiskeys. They did not want a "barely legal" rye with just 51% rye; they wanted to honor the way rye used to be made, "high rye content and full, uncompromised flavor". Yes, it is still a blend of straight rye whiskeys, but it contains more of High West's pot still rye.
Class: Blend of Straight Rye Whiskies (aged 4 to 7 years)
46% ABV (92 proof)
MGP Mashbill: 95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
High West Mashbill: 80% Rye, 20% Malted Rye
Barrels: New, charred white American Oak
Distillery Tasting Notes
Nose: Poached pear, bitter orange, ground ginger, lavender, wet sandalwood, tanned leather on a well-used wooden work bench
Taste: Persimmon, dried apricot, snickerdoodle, ginger chews, walnut sauce, spiced caramels in a cedar gift box
Finish: Cocoa nibs, allspice, toasted oak
As you can see, this is not meant to be some simple rye or like everything else. The high rye content and the inclusion of malted rye typically give a completely different flavor profile than a "barely legal" rye. This sounds like it is a full bodied, complex rye that you want to sip with friends and enjoy your own rendezvous.
Who is Ed Mell?
In addition to this being the first limited release of Rendezvous Rye, we get the gorgeous label designed by Ed Mell. You don't know who Ed Mell is? Neither did I. Admittedly, I do not follow the American Art scene outside of going to a museum every once in a while. High West describes the label as a "New West Meets Old West aesthetic, boasting warm earth tones and a contemporary--inspired cowboy scene." You can definitely see that in the label. However, I was curious; was this just something that was a one-off for the distillery? Is this in line with the overall theme of Ed Mell artworks?
Thankfully, you can head over to the Ed Mell Gallery and learn for yourself. One of the taglines is "The beauty, the vastness, the free spirit of the American West." If you look through the paintings, you will see that the label and the paintings are all part of the same theme. The label really is an extension of Ed Mell's work. The real hope here is that the artistic label helps drive some interest in the other artwork as well, as it is well earned.