View our Main Site »

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

High West Campfire Whiskey

A review by John Barecki

Located in Park City, Utah, High West Distillery makes its home in an historic group of buildings, including a livery and garage, that date back to the early 1900s. This distillery focuses its alchemy mostly on the creation of rye whisky, which before Prohibition was the most popular spirit in the land.

High West Distillery can lay claim to the the fact that it is the first legal distillery in Utah since 1870. The spirits produced and blended here are special because of the eccentric qualities and specific items that the distillers bring into the mix. For example, one product they make—Bourye—contains a blend of straight rye and straight bourbon whiskies, while other products—namely Rendezvous Rye and Double Rye—contain a blend of old and new rye whiskies.

The most eclectic offering from High West is called Campfire, which contains a blend of bourbon, rye, and a peated single malt whiskey. The back story on this whiskey is explained quite nicely on the back of the bottle: in short, a trip to Islay in Scotland provided the canvas for this product.

When you first nose the whiskey, the rye is initially what you notice. Following that, minty and herbaceous notes of eucalyptus and cola come up, musty damp wood, with a hint of smoke. Upon first sip, the mouth-coating quality of the single malt begins its journey, starting with a nice barley sweetness followed by a curious candy note reminiscent of fruit and a slight anise possibly brought on by all three elements combining in the middle. The flavor then goes into a dark chocolate/cornbread bourbon note and finishes with a savory smoke that lingers in a pleasant finish.

One would think that something like this would be just plain confusing to the palate. I find it to be more of a pleasant challenge, personally. The qualities of all three whiskies shine through enough to enjoy them on their own as well as intertwined, so even though this would not be my first choice to show a whisky drinking novice, I would highly recommend it to any experienced whiskey drinker.

Campfire from High West Distillery is available at Siciliano's Market for $55.75/750ml.

No comments:

Post a Comment