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A Midwinter Nights Dram Act 9 Scene 1 Port Finished Rye Review

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

From the bottle label:

Are you sure That we are awake? It seems to me That yet we sleep, we dream. - Demetrius, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 4, Scene 1 - Wm. Shakespeare


Company on Label: High West

Whiskey Type: A Blend of Straight Rye Whiskeys

Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed proportions of 95% Rye, 5% Barley and 80% Rye, 20% Malted Rye

Proof: 98.6°

Age: NAS (mix of 5-6 year MGP and 4-9 year at High West)

Further identification: Act 9 Scene 1 is High West Rendezvous Rye finished in French oak port barrels; this is the Fall 2021 release


Nose: Creamy nose feel with a very jammy fig forward sweetness greeting me gently. Crème brûlée that is only lightly seared; very sweet and sugary. Citrus and oak marry well. Lovely complexity already on only a few breaths in. Slight hints of clove, nestled under a fir bough. Roasted almonds and chocolate now. Hearty clusters of raisins, plums and prunes. All the delicious dark fruit you could ask for. After a sip things turn markedly more oaky here, which in this case is a good thing as it is still creamy rather than dusty in texture, likely due to the finishing casks. A bit of green moss and smoke layer in later in the glass. Peach preserve tingles a bit and then settles back into a creamy vanilla. The empty glass smells of vanilla and dates.

Palate: First sip is like a strip of fruit silk. Vanilla parfait, loaded with plums and more of that fig jam. Lovely syrupy mouth feel coats the tongue, but doesn't stick to your teeth like a sweet wine does. Bits of cinnamon tingle here and there as orange marmalade, blackberries and slight floral notes dance. Slight hints of a candied kind of mint layers over the fruit at times. Such a robust and evolving bouquet of fruits at all times, this one never lets your taste buds settle on just one thing. Cherry now dominates more-so late in the glass. The last sip is as smooth as butter and yields a dark, syrupy cherry with waves of pepper, molasses, mint, and raisin that lingers long. Swish and savor this pour and it will be good to you!


Rating: 4/5

This is just begging for a cherry pie pairing. I love this pour every year, with Act 7 stealing my heart the most... But this Act 9 might give it a good run if I do a head to head soon. If you are still sleeping on this pour - I hope you are now awake! Share this pour with friends and family this Winter. May your hearth be warm. Cheers.



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