Company: Kindred Distilled Spirits
Distillery: Kentucky Artisan Distillery
Age: 4 Months
Mashbill: 100% Rye
MSRP: $45 (2018)
The Highspire brand was originally created by Irish immigrant Robert Wilson in 1823. Unfortunately, the brand didn’t survive prohibition and lay dormant until Kindred Distilled Spirits obtained it and reintroduced Highspire to the market a few years ago. In its latest iteration, Highspire is still made with 100% rye grain, distilled by Kindred Distilled Spirits at the Kentucky Artisan Distillery, and aged in California wine barrels. While the Highspire Rye is only aged for four months, the company states that they are using a proprietary blend of oak staves which allows them to “not take years to express the true distinctive flavor of 100% rye grain whiskey.”
The nose is full of youth and spice, with oak and rye being the predominant notes followed by an underlying layer of baking chocolate and a touch of summer fruit. In addition, ethanol makes a strong showing, which is surprising for an 80 proof whiskey. The palate carries the youth forward with light oak and rye being the main drivers and a thin layer of sweet vanilla mixed in. Highspire finishes with notes of oak, vanilla, new leather, and a dab of baking chocolate.
Highspire is a young rye delivering a sip that shows its youthfulness despite the addition of oak staves. While I wouldn’t write this off completely, as it shows promise with its flavors, I would like this to sit a few more years in a barrel before revisiting it.
The sample used for this review was provided at no cost courtesy of Robb Vices. We thank them for the sample and for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.