Whiskey Review: High West Yippee Ki-Yay

High West Yippee Ki-Yay

image via Savannah Weinstock

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a free sample to review by the party behind it. The Whiskey Wash, while appreciative of this, did keep full independent editorial control over this article.

No stranger to whimsical labeling, High West’s Yippee Ki-Yay rye whiskey features a bucking bronco and its brave rider. Either a reference to a country song or the rebellious cry rumored to be heard across the early American plains, Yippee Ki-Yay aims to make those imbibing shout with joy.

As is apparent from my recent Light Whiskey and Bourye reviews, I am continually pleased and surprised by the quality of whiskey that High West produces. Master of limited release offerings, High West has until recently been an entirely sourced blending operation. Now with their own distillery, they are finally cranking out their own juice, although this release is a blend of sourced rye from MGP and Barton.

Innovative, transparent, and with a hearty sense of humor, High West has yet to let me down. In this review, I aim to find out if this High West rye release can be set apart from its multitudinous rye-forward brethren, or if it’s just another cowboy riding into the sunset of mediocrity.

At 46% ABV, Yippee Ki-Yay is a blend of straight rye whiskies. Essentially their Double Rye finished for an unspecified amount of time in both wine and vermouth barrels, Yippee Ki-Yay is recommended as either an aperitif or digestif.

Tasting Notes: High West Yippie Ki-Yay

Appearance: In the glass, the dram is a beautiful peachy rose gold.

Read More Whiskey News
Whiskey Reviews: Kozuba & Sons Distillery

Nose: Warm stone fruit (nectarine, peach, and plum) marry brown butter to create a sensual pineapple upside-down cake effect. Floral and caramelized,Yippee Ki-Yay smells of butter brickle ice cream and gardenias. Incredibly floral for a rye, which is likely owed to the vermouth finish.

Palate: The first impression is sweet but rapidly becomes more and more tannic. The butter pecan note from the nose travels swiftly to the palate, turning into puppy chow and back again to butter brickle ice cream. Sweet, rich, and nutty, the dram finishes on a butterscotch sauce note.

Finish: Quite short and clean. Almost refreshing and crisp.


 Both expressively rich, clean, and controlled, Yippee Ki-Yay strikes a curious chord. While at mid-palate the dram tastes slightly over-finished, the over effect remains pleasant. The tasting experience leaves me wondering why High West chose to re-finish an already very rounded whiskey, but wanting to drink more.

Fun and delicious, but possibly in need of some tweaking, Yippee Ki-Yay nonetheless remains another success from High West in my mind.