High West American Prairie Reserve

High West is Utah's first legal distillery since the 1870's. Founded in 2007 by biochemist and bourbon lover David Perkins, High West blends sourced whiskey while Perkins waits for his own products to mature. By my count, High West currently bottles 16 distinct products, 14 of which are blends of other distilleries' whiskey. 

Perkins has created some awesome blends- we've enjoyed Bourye, Son of Bourye, Campfire, and Rendezvous Rye. But we are less impressed by master blends then we are by masterfully distilled and aged whiskeys. We eagerly await the Utah distilled products.

The original American Prairie Reserve, released in 2012, was a blend of 6-year-old MGPI bourbon and 10-year-old Four Roses bourbon. In 2015, High West altered the recipe. It is now a blend of 2-year-old MGPI bourbon, 6-year old bourbon from an unknown Kentucky distillery, and 13-year-old bourbon from an unknown Kentucky distillery [but believed to be Four Roses]. The proportions of the blend are unknown.

High West donates 10% of the profits from each bottle sold to the American Prairie Reserve.

High West American Prairie Reserve

High West Distillery

92 proof

$50 at Southern Spirits in Fort Mill, SC 

Color: Light amber.

Nose: Gentle nose. My first impression is Christmas tree pine and cinnamon spice although the aromas develop into sweeter caramel and bright fruit.

Tasting Notes: The entrance is silky smooth and maple syrup sweet. Mid-sip, it explodes with oaky char and black pepper spice. It finishes on the sweet side- I get strawberry jam and dark cherry. Very tasty stuff.

Overall: B+. The nose is surprisingly subtle, but the flavor profile is super. It is an "A" tasting bourbon, but considering that High West blended MGPI and Four Roses bourbons, I have to knock it a bit. Cheers to High West, but also to Greg Metze (master distiller at MGPI), and Jim Rutledge (former master distiller at Four Roses).

Peer reviews:

Whiskey Jug

Sku's Recent Eats