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JW Rutledge High Plains Rye Review

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JW Rutledge High Plains Rye Review
High Plains Rye
Blend of Straight Rye Whiskeys
Selected & Blended by Jim Rutledge
48.5% ABV
J.W. Rutledge Distillery

I hope you enjoy my JW Rutledge High Plains Rye Review!

I have been eagerly awaiting what Jim Rutledge and his J.W. Rutledge Distillery would do next. Their first releases were the Cream of Kentucky line, an historic brand which was originally introduced in 1888 and is now owned by J.W. Rutledge. Next up is this recently released High Plains Rye.

From the label: “For the inaugural bottling release of High Plains Rye, the JWRD team decided to do something unique. Jim Rutledge selected and expertly blended straight rye whiskeys acquired from distilleries in four states. The whiskeys selected for this rendering were distilled by Kentucky Artisan Distillery, Middle West Distillery in Ohio, MGP Distillery in Indiana, and New York Distilling Company – yielding a rye whiskey to be enjoyed by all.”

JW Rutledge High Plains Rye Review
JW Rutledge High Plains Rye
Tasting Notes

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Baking spices, brown sugar, apricot, dark plum, light citrus, light rye bread, light spearmint, mellow gingerbread; moderate alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Lightly sweetened tea, caramel, white pepper
👉🏻Finish: The white pepper builds in the finish and is joined by some barrel char; rye bread returns in the background, and the tea and mild sweetness lingers. The finish is fairly long, with increasing spiciness as the other flavors fade away.

There are a lot of flavors in the nose, although many are fairly subtle with the baking spices, brown sugar and apricot, actually dried apricot, being the most forward. The taste changes direction, with many of the flavors in the nose exchanged for a, dare I say, smoother initial mouthfeel dominated by lightly sweetened tea. The change is fairly abrupt in the finish, where the white pepper spice dominates, but in a pleasant way.


The flavors are complex and dynamic, presumably a result of this blending of these quite different ryes. This is definitely one of those whiskeys that changes throughout the sip, from nose to finish. It’s an enjoyable rye. Have you tried this whiskey yet? What did you think? Cheers!🥃

If you have enjoyed this JW Rutledge High Plains Rye Review, you might be interested in another rye that Jim Rutledge had a hand in. You can read about it in my Blue Run Golden Rye review.

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