High N’ Wicked Cask Strength Rye (2024)


Classification: Straight Rye

Company: Altamar Brands

Distillery: Sourced from New Riff Distillery

Release Date: March 2024

Proof: 124

Age: 5 Years

Mashbill: 91% Rye, 9% Malted Barley

Color: Copper

MSRP: $90 / 750mL (2024)

Official Website

Press Release


Rich caramel | Potent charred oak | French vanilla ice cream | Butterscotch | Orange peel | Beautifully rich


Orange zest | Black pepper | Tobacco leaf | Oily mouthfeel


Rye Spice | Black pepper | Light smoke | Burnt orange rind


Though this cask strength rye is sourced from a familiar Kentucky distillery, it doesn’t discount what this rye gets right.

High N’ Wicked describes itself as “an importer and specialty bottler of exceptional whiskies.” The company was founded by L. Lyons Brown, III and Kevin E. Sachs in 2019, both of whom were former Brown-Forman senior executives. Altamar Brands began offering High N’ Wicked Cask Strength Bourbon in 2023, and is expanding its cask strength offering to encompass rye.  

High N’ Wicked is clear that they source the release’s rye from New Riff as they boldly state it on the bottle’s back label. It’s unusual to see such a declaration, but that transparency has always been a part of the High N’ Wicked brand. This begs the question, given that transparency, why should someone pick up High N’ Wicked Cask Strength Rye and not go directly to the source instead?

One reason would be that New Riff doesn’t release a standard ongoing cask strength rye and typically reserves those releases for their single barrel selection program. Given a person’s location, those could be plentiful or not available at all. So High N’ Wicked Cask Strength Rye is fulfilling somewhat of a niche, though a very narrow one at that. Another reason is the mashbill differs slightly from New Riff's standard 95% rye, 5% malted rye, to 91% rye, 9% malted barley for this release.

With that said, High N’ Wicked Cask Strength Rye opens with a beautifully rich aroma that smells like it was just thiefed from the barrel. The palate is equally potent, showcasing its 124 proof with gusto, and it's topped off with a pleasing oily mouthfeel. The rye finishes hot, thanks to its bold rye spice and a touch of smoke. As usual for the brand, orange is a common flavor found throughout its sip and allows it to stand out among other barrel proof ryes.

Though the rye lacks a wide range of flavors and abundant depth, the intensity of its flavors work exceedingly well and go a long way to make up for it. If you’ve never had a New Riff Rye at barrel strength, or even if you’ve had one, it should be clear High N’ Wicked Cask Strength Rye doesn’t reinvent the wheel. What it does offer is a rye with a great nose and an oily mouthfeel that brings with it a sip with big intensity.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
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Written By: Eric Hasman

June 14, 2024
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