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Cigar Spirits: High West Son of Bourye

26 Feb 2015

When you mix straight bourbon whiskey with straight rye whiskey, what do you get? When High West Whiskey out of Park City, Utah, wanted to sell its concoction, they called it “Bourye,” a portmanteau of bourbon and rye.

high-west-bouryeA quick note on terms for American whiskey: Bourye has no legal meaning. Federal regulations have strict definitions about what certain terms mean, so although a combination of straight bourbon whiskeys can still be straight bourbon (and multiple straight ryes still can be called straight rye), a combination of straight rye and straight bourbon cannot be called straight whiskey, even if it is (as High West calls says on the bottle) “a blend of straight whiskies.”

The original Bourye, first released in 2009, combined 10-year-old bourbon, 12-year rye, and 16-year rye (a tweaked Bourye was just released in the past few months). Son of Bourye, as you might expect, is a younger version.

In Son of Bourye, High West takes a five-year-old bourbon (at least five years, the label says), and mingles it with a five-year rye whiskey (the percentage of each isn’t disclosed). Both spirits are sourced from the Lawrenceburg, Indiana, distillery that provides spirits for many whiskey companies that bottle bourbon, and especially rye, that they don’t distill themselves.

Son of Bourye is bottled at 92-proof. It isn’t easy to find, but is not impossible to locate above retail, which is usually between $45 and $50.

The nose is pleasant, although not particularly distinctive with caramel and hints of pine and citrus. On the palate, some of the interplay between the rye and bourbon comes out with honey, oak, and mint spice. Floral notes, clove, and cinnamon also hit the palate. The finish lingers nicely with dried fruit and wood spice.

There are enough subtleties in Son of Bourye that a full-bodied smoke would overpower it. Instead, try a mild or medium cigar like Cabaiguan, Illusione Epernay, or a Cuban Montecristo.

Ultimately, there is a lot to like about Son of Bourye. The blend of straight bourbon and straight rye is a fairly new category of spirits which has emerged as whiskey companies look to provide a new, unique product to a booming market. When compared to other bourbon/rye combinations (like Jefferson’s Chef’s Collaboration, Wild Turkey Forgiven, and the original Bourye) High West’s Son of Bourye measures up quite favorably in terms of the value it provides.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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