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Redwood Empire Devils Tower High Rye Bourbon




Whiskey Review: Redwood Empire Devils Tower High Rye Bourbon

Tasting Notes:

High rye bourbon sporting a four-grain mash bill with 51% corn, 45% rye, 2% wheat, and 2% malt; bottled at 99 proof; priced north of $80.
A moderate amber-golden color shines in the glass, strikingly like golden beams of sunlight streaking through a redwood forest. The legs are sufficient, as is the viscosity.
The extremely high rye of the mash bill is immediately evident, reflecting a balanced sweet and spicy aroma. Notes of vanilla, green apple, black pepper, honeysuckle and caramel flicker together amongst each other.
Washing quickly over my tongue is that same excellent balance of sweetness and spice, highlighting tastes of black pepper, honey, vanilla, oak, caramel, brown sugar, and baking spice.
The finish holds steady and true, leaving a lingering sweet/spicy tingling as it fades silently into stillness like the last rays of light in an ancient forest.
This is an easily drinkable high rye style bourbon, with the tiny amounts of wheat and malt subdued just enough to let the rye and corn balance ideally. You’ve got an excellent sipper in glass in this expression.
Redwood Empire Devils Tower High Rye Bourbon review
We review Redwood Empire Devils Tower High Rye Bourbon, sporting a four-grain mash bill with 51% corn, 45% rye, 2% wheat, and 2% malt. (image via Redwood Empire Whiskey)

Editor’s Note: The party behind this whiskey gave us a review sample. Per our editorial policies, this in no way influenced the outcome of this review. It should also be noted that clicking the buy link in this review earns our site a small referral payment, which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

California’s Redwood Empire Whiskey, since its founding in 2015, has been influenced by the rugged iconography of the Redwood Empire, a loosely defined region of the northern part of the state stretching from San Francisco up to the Oregon border. A good portion of this coastal area is covered by redwood forests, something the distillery supports in protecting by partnering with non-profits to plant one tree for every bottle sold. Up to this point, over 1,000,000 trees have been planted.

Founder Derek Benham and master distiller Jeff Duckhorn, with a strong belief the region’s temperate climate and humidity allow for “a slow, even extraction of flavor during the whiskey aging process,” have sourced older barrels from select distilleries across the nation and blended them with their own distillate. Described as now having the largest rick house in California, Redwood Empire Whiskey reserves more of its own distillate for 100% grain-to-glass expressions and increasingly features aged whiskeys distilled onsite. 

The latest releases from this distillery encompass what’s called the Small Lot Series, which is focused on applying its in-house style to products with a specific focus. The whiskey I’m reviewing today, Devils Tower High Rye Bourbon, is part of this series. Blended from 25 barrels and bottled at 99 proof, it sports a four-grain mash bill of 51% corn, 45% rye, 2% wheat, and 2% malt and was aged in toasted and char 3 barrels. It is priced north of $80.

The namesake Devils Tower references an old coastal redwood growth tree situated deep in Redwood National Forest and named after a monument in Wyoming rising 340 feet into the sky.

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