American Whiskey - Unaged/Moonshine

High West Silver OMG Pure Rye Whiskey

From: Utah, United States Liquor Review Category: Unaged/Moonshine American Whiskey

Bottle/Rating Data

Rating Description

Tier 1
This is a Tier 1 score in the Whiskey category. It means the spirit has won the highest recommendation at least once and probably many times.
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San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • This bottle has not been rated by this competition.

Beverage Testing Institute

  • 2011

Wine Enthusiast

  • 2012

Proof66 Notes

High West Silver is a line of un-aged whiskey ("moonshine," if you insist) and the OMG Pure Rye is (obviously enough) their rye expression. Rather than the modern era "oh my God" moniker in chat rooms, they say that OMG in the 1800s was actually Old MononGahela, a river in Pennsylvania and the site of the American Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. It was a famous whiskey producing region, making mostly rye whiskey. The marketing website says that by 1810 the MononGahela region was outproducing Kentucky by 3 to 1.

The High West expression is made with 80% rye grain and 20% malted rye. They call it a painstaking recreation of the style used in the 1800s. It is distilled to 134 proof and then very lightly blended back to a (still not) 98 proof. They warn against mixing like you would any old vodka. In fact, they suggest aging the spirit in a barrel on your own if not consumed neat at room temperature. They acknowledge it is "tricky to mix" and offer a few cocktails on their website.

In 2012, we had our own tasting of OMG Rye, finding it an intricate, sophisticated whiskey.

The 2011 Beverage Testing institute review agreed, saying "Surprisingly smooth given the proof with fantastic poise and integrated flavors.


About the Producer:

High West Distillery is proud of both its small status and its western roots. It is currently restoring a 100 year-old livery stable as its future home and the horseshoes in the logo are meant to honor that tradition. In Utah, they are at an altitude of 7,000 feet in the Rockies. They hope that by enjoying their product the consumer is celebrating their "gumption" at bringing spirits back to Utah.

Rabble Reviews

This bottle has 2 ratings and 2 reviews.
Quetzal Quetzal (91) (2014-04-22)
(3.5 out of 5). Haven't purchased a bottle, but I tried 1.5 ounces out of a Glencairn glass, and added some water before sipping. This was an interesting experience. Whisk(e)y in its unaged form tends to be less palatable than, say, tequila or mezcal, but well-made rye may be an exception to this (I'd be lying if I said I knew much about unaged whisk(e)y, however). This had a robust, spicy character and a faint sourness that took some getting used to, but made it interesting to sip. However, more so than anything else, it made me excited for High West to release its own aged rye (as opposed to blends).
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Proof66 Staff Proof66 Staff (95) (2013-02-04)
A fantastic whiskey but not one that belongs in every home’s liquor cabinet. It belongs in the liquor cabinet of any snob out there that thinks they know everything there is to know about whiskey. Aside from being very well-crafted, it’s an intricate, complex, and surprisingly different. It will stretch your preconceived notions of what a whiskey is and what it can do.
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