Thank you to /u/Throzen for sharing this one with all of us.
Manhattans are my fathers and my drink of choice. Here’s the thing: My father tried one of these back when he was 18. Legally, in Quebec, at the World’s Fair. And he loved it so much, he knew it was his drink.
Well, he knew that 30 years later when someone served one as good as the first one he had, and he immediately found out that he loved it so much because he loved Bourbon and no one had ever told him the first ones at the expo were made with bourbon.
Thus is quite funny that I prefer them with Irish Whiskey or Canadian whisky. Putting my poor choices aside, when I drink High West Double Rye! Manhattan Finish Barrel 2934, I’m reminded of that sweet connection.
Also I’m not so much good at the cocktails. So I can order a Manhattan with extra cherries and feel like I’m doing the whole “staying on top of cocktails that are in.”
So this is a different barrel than the previous time I reviewed a Double Rye! that was finished in ex-Manhattan casks. I expect a cocktail that is made up whiskey, vermouth, and bitters will be different than an ex-bourbon cask though not so different from what we get in red wine barrels.
Or maybe I’m just hoping. Oh well, let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: I believe it’s now sold out.
Barrel No. 2934
Bottle No. 216
Bottled for: Tippins Market – Ann Arbor
Finish Time: 9 months
Barrel Type: Barreled [sic] Manhattan
Colour: 10YR 7/10
Nose: Peach, woody, black cherries, dandelion
Initial nose is a pretty standard bourbon nose (yes, this is rye, so that’s odd in and of itself). The peach is a tad odd. It’s floral though, and the Manhattan part has added some sharpness to it.
A little woody on this one. Though each flavour is quite strong and distinct.
Taste: Maple, molasses, ginger, cherry, red liquorice/rose water
Sweet. If the nose had a tartness, the taste has left it behind and gone for the sweetness of the cask.
There’s additional spice, lots of sweet notes in the vein of molasses. The cherries are there. So I somewhat wonder if they added the cherries. Or perhaps that’s time in the oak with the vermouth.
Finish: Molasses/white rum, honey, cereal, honeydew melon
Short finish. This is where this specific cask falls down compared to the last one. And yes, rum is a distinct flavour combinations that is not really kosher to use here. However in the few seconds that it lasts, that is what struck me.
Dry, water adds some honeydew, and then ends. Nothing else really to discuss. It’s a quick breakfast at the end.
Conclusion: As more and more aged cocktails are made, and enjoyed, I think High West is ahead of the game.
That said, and I feel it’s a well deserved compliment, this didn’t work as well as it could. The finish is too quick. The taste is nice, and quite sweet. The nose is good, but tis no rye to it, which may bug some.
This was nice to sip on, and scoring it wasn’t easy. I appreciate the work that went into it. Maybe it needed more cherries.
Bourbon review #208, Utah review #17, Whiskey Network review #1258