A Trip To Find (And Style) Great Whiskey From An Unexpected Place
When David Perkins and his spouse went to Scotland for the primary time, to drink whiskey, they observed how the area itself felt proper and in live performance with every part they had been tasting. The rugged panorama set the tone for every of the distilleries they visited. The plush greens, rolling hills, and inlets made every sip higher, and there was one thing about ending the evening round a hearth with a dram that acted as a teleportation machine.
Perkins needed to copy this sense in the USA and landed on Utah. It felt like the correct match, regardless of the actual fact that there have been no authorized distilleries within the state at the moment.
“Utah actually offers it a way of place,” the Excessive West Distillery founder says. “It’s lovely. We simply hoped you’d take into consideration the mountains once you’re sipping whiskey and possibly it’d whisk you away from the stresses of your day job and assist you concentrate on that enjoyable journey you had.”
Peering out over the Wasatch-Uinta mountains, it’s no marvel why so Perkins fell in love with the state. The entire area feels prefer it’s already been handled with an Instagram filter – the colours are richer, the horizon is stiller, and backdrops might be excused for a film set. If there was wherever to interrupt floor and settle, you might do far worse. In fact, Utah has had a tumultuous and assorted relationship with alcohol over time, however it’s not fairly as teetotaling as folks assume. Within the 1820s, it was residence to a whiskey trade (or rendezvous), and Mormons went as far as to invent their very own whiskey known as “Valley Tan.” Even Brigham Younger owned distilleries up by 1870, when the temperance motion began taking form.
Excessive West opened in 2006, in Park Metropolis. Since then Perkins’ imaginative and prescient has taken form. Excessive West has received acclaim from bartenders and whiskey followers alike and continues to push boundaries by distinctive blends and tastes. However the crown jewel of the corporate is the main distillery in Wanship, which opened in 2015. With sweeping views, an amazing sense of calm, and no scarcity of nooks to gap up in, it’s the bodily manifestation of what Perkins needed clients to really feel when popping the highest on a bottle of American Praire or Rendezvous Rye. It’s the place he needs folks to get swept away, and it’s properly value a pilgrimage to the industrious beehive state.
We huddled with Perkins after being invited out to see the distillery for ourselves to ask for the origin tales and tasting notes of our 5 favourite Excessive West choices.
The corporate’s flagship made out of a mixture of MGP (the identical provider as Bulleit) two-year, and six-year-old and 13-year-old bourbons from Kentucky.
“It’s acquired these three layers, Perkins tells us. “You get this good fruity up entrance layer, then you definitely get a pleasant form of a Juicy Fruit taste. That’s one of many part whiskeys. You get this caramelly nougat taste, and then you definitely get this good woody end.”
Our verdict: Accessible and versatile, this one goes nice in a sizzling toddy.
The primary launch by Excessive West, Rendezvous is a excessive rye mixture of MGP rye and two Barton ryes.
“We wish this one to say ‘Christmas,’ Perkins says. “Mulling spices, actually the flavors of the rye have these clove and cinnamon predominant flavors. Who doesn’t like mulling spices?”
Our verdict: A terrific flask whiskey, it’s a lifesaver in a jacket pocket as a groomsman or in mid-October at a Large Ten tailgate.
A mixture of a two-year MGP rye and a Barton 16-year-old rye.
“This isn’t Tabasco spice – it’s pepper spice,” Perkins informed us. “However cinnamon is an enormous taste in it, so type of cinnamon Crimson Sizzling spicy. There are different baking spices in it too. You get some menthol, the mintiness in it, however all that for me simply says spicy, so I name it the ‘World’s Spiciest Whiskey.’”
Our verdict: Packs a punch, and makes one of the best Manhattans out of any of the Excessive West whiskeys we examined.
Midwinter Nights Dram
Rendezvous Rye aged in white American oak barrels and completed in French oak port barrels.
“You are taking the mulling spices in Rendezvous and marry these with the dry fruit flavors of the port barrel, and also you get a Christmas pudding out of it,” Perkins tells us. “My daughter was studying A Midsummer Night time’s Dream for college, and there got here the identify.”
Our verdict: Elegant and layered. Virtually begs to be sipped slowly, however it’s dangerously easy.
A mix of peated, blended malt scotch, MGP bourbon, and MGP rye, all five-year or older.
“It was a visit to Islay with my spouse for our 10th 12 months anniversary,” Perkins says. “This was very early on in Excessive West’s historical past, like in all probability a 12 months after we raised the cash and acquired began. We went to Bruichladdich in Islay and spent the week working there and studying about scotch and stayed of their mattress and breakfast.
“One morning, after we awakened, we smelled smoke, the peat smoke within the air. You wouldn’t scent that within the morning, however you would possibly scent it at evening once they have a campfire, or only a hearth in that home. They’d burn peat logs at evening for nostalgia and having a pleasant hearth, however you might scent it within the morning. You go within the kitchen they usually had been boiling down a bottle of one among their actually peaty whiskeys known as ‘Octomore’.
“I requested them what it was for. They mentioned, ‘come again later tonight for dessert.’ They’d a made a easy syrup out of that. You boil it down, you set some sugar in and it’s a easy syrup, however a smoky easy syrup. They drizzled that on ripe honeydew. It was only a fabulous, wild style mixture I’d by no means had. Smoke and fruit.
“We had purchased some fruity MGP whiskey on the time. It was one among their bourbons was tremendous fruity. I assumed, ‘If we may marry a smokey scotch with that fruity bourbon, possibly that’d style good.’ I believe we got here out with Campfire in 2012. My one-word sum up is ‘Cozy.’ It simply makes me really feel cozy when I’ve it. Smoke looks like residence. Everyone has a imaginative and prescient of smoke of their head. They know what it tastes like.”
Our verdict: Smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke. Campfire is the correct identify for this one; it tastes like a mountain home feels.
The way to go to: Company to the Park Metropolis space can discover just about each variation of Excessive West whiskey –- and buy their very own bottles — on the Excessive West Saloon in downtown Park Metropolis (seven days per week). In addition they have nice meals. Or drive out to Wanship (about 20 miles from downtown Park Metropolis), cross the Blue Sky Ranch, and comply with the indicators to the distillery, which is open Wednesday by Sunday.