Fortunately, the Double Rye sat on the shelf, looking magnificent in its fabulous long bottle. I was kindly offered a sip, which was very much appreciated, and that small taste was enough for me to part with my cash and I left the shop with the Double Rye - along with a cheeky wee bottle of Elijah Craig 12 to keep it company on the journey home.
Now, I'm not one to put much stock into how products are packaged, but I've already mentioned the bottle, which really is rather splendid. The thick, lightly dimpled glass is filled with tiny air bubbles, giving the bottle some good old-fashioned cowboy charm.
Thankfully, the whiskey inside the eye-catching container does the bottle justice, and High West have produced something truly unique here.
The Double Rye is a blend of a 16-year-old rye and a fiesty 2-year-old rye and it's this younger spirit which makes this High West product sing.
Give the whiskey a swirl and you'll be amazed at what you smell. Strong gin-like notes are unmistakable, and there's a huge smack of fresh mint, but these lively aromas are kept in check thanks to a spicy caramel presence tucked away in the background.
Take a sip, and the youthful spirit makes itself known immediately, with burnt sugar and prickly juniper dancing across the tongue before the older rye takes over, leaving a rich and warming caramel taste. Let everything settle, and green woody notes and a touch of vanilla hit the palate.
This is an excellent, well balanced whiskey and proof - if any were needed - that High West know exactly what they are doing. You really will be amazed at how gin-like it smells and tastes - just don't spoil it with a dash of tonic and a slice of lemon!