GSN Review: High West Distillery Whiskies

Utah is generally known for two things: The Great Salt Lake and Mormonism.  Another aspect which is less known is that it’s been a dry state since 1870, until five years ago when the High West Distillery opened in Old Town Park City.  Since then, they’ve focused on crafting whiskies (and a few vodkas) along with running a cocktail-centric saloon in conjunction with a fine restaurant to boot.  You can even ski your way to the distillery as it is located at the bottom of a ski-lift .  Sounds like a great vacation to me!

Their whiskies are so good, my wife told me recently I should finish my review of them before I finished the bottles.  For a new distillery, these guys know what they’re doing, and they do it exceptionally well.

Double Rye! (92 proof)  A blend of 2-year-old 95% rye, 5% barley malt mashbill and a 16-year-old 53% rye and 37% corn mashbill.
Visual: Golden amber.
Nose: Sweet, with hints of woodspice, chestnuts, butterscotch, cinnamon.
Taste: Very balanced with a wonderful bite of rye.  There’s a toffee-like sweetness which is exceptionally mixable.
Finish: Medium long with a nice sweet edge at the end.
Overall:  Really, really drinkable on its own or works wonders in a Manhattan.
GSN Rating: A

Campfire (92 proof) A blend of three five-year old or older whiskies.  A straight bourbon whiskey from 75 percent corn, 20 percent rye, and 5 percent barley malt; a straight rye whiskey from 95 percent rye and 5 percent barley malt; and a blended malt Scotch whiskey, made of 100-percent barley malt that has been peated. The bourbon and rye are sourced from the old Seagrams plant in Indiana.                                                                                                                           Visual: Golden amber.
Nose: Dark with heavy smoke overtones, very scotch-like, spicy, burnt caramel.
Taste: Quite smokey and spicy at the same time.  Unique and a rye that is great on its own. A lot of body and intensity.
Finish: Fairly long with the spice aspect being more residual than the smoke.
Overall: Something in a class all its own.  A nice sipper.  Use a snifter.
GSN Rating: B+

Son of Bourye (92 proof) Two whiskies make up this blend.  One is a 5yr Old Bourbon- 75% corn, 20% rye, 5% barley malt.  The other is a 3yr Old Rye – 95% rye, 5% barley malt. Both are non-chill filtered.
Visual: Golden amber.
Nose: Very sweet up front with spice coming through.
Taste: Quite sweet and more in the line of a typical bourbon.  A lot of caramel and vanilla.
Finish: Medium long with a super sweet lingering finish.
Overall: A very well done bourbon style whiskey.
GSN Rating: A-

American Prairie Reserve (92 proof) Whiskey #1: 6-year-old Mashbill from 75% Corn, 20% rye, 5% barley malt blended with a 10-year-old Bourbon mashbill from 60% Corn, 35% rye, and 5% barley malt.  Both of these are outsourced from Seagram’s and Four Roses.
Visual: Golden amber.
Nose: Very light and dry with a grain bouquet.
Taste: Thin and with more alcohol flavor and bite than any of the others.  There certainly are notes of rye, but the spice is fleeting and rather subdued.
Finish: Dry and quite short.  Almost unfinished.
Overall: Seems elegant, but also somewhat insubstantial. The least impressive of the bunch.
GSN Rating: B-

Rendezvous Rye (92 proof)  A marriage of two straight rye whiskies: a straight 6-year-old with a mashbill containing 95% rye and 5% barley malt; a straight 16-year-old with a mashbill containing 80% rye, 10% corn, 10% barley malt.
Visual: Golden amber
Nose: Quite spicy, with pleasant caramel overtones.
Taste: Lots of high note spice.  Oddly enough, reminds me of Indian food.
Finish: Leaves a mouthful of spice lingering.
Overall: An interesting rye with an almost ginger bite. Try this between bites of sushi.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: High West Distillery

One thought on “GSN Review: High West Distillery Whiskies

  1. Pingback: GSN Review: High West’s A Midwinter Night’s Dram Whiskey | Good Spirits News

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