High West is a brand that we really love. Founded in 2009, the first distillery in Utah since 1870, High West has built a following by being open and transparent about how they make their products. The bourbon market today is made up of many non-distiller producers (NDP) that buy whiskey from one of the various established bourbon houses and then market it with varying degrees of honesty about where the product comes from. High West is also considered a non distiller producer in that they buy various whiskies and blend them together to create interesting and unique flavor profiles. For example, their Campfire Whiskey is a blend of straight bourbon, straight rye, and a peated blended malt scotch! Their flagship products include the Campfire, Double Rye, Rendezvous Rye, and American Prairie whiskies. They also produce some limited expressions that are highly sought after such as Midwinter Nights Dram, Bourye, and most recently Yippee Ki Yay.
More recently High West has introduced two bottled cocktails, the Barreled Boulevardier and the Barreled Manhattan. The Barreled Manhattan is made by combining Double Rye, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters, and then aging it in a used rye barrel for an additional 4 months. It has certainly been a trend in cocktail bars around the country to experiment with barrel aging various cocktails, and High West has taken it further by bottling it up for consumer consumption.
Which brings us to the special Whiskey Wednesday feature for tonight - A single barrel High West American Prairie finished in Barreled Manhattan barrels for an additional 1.4 years, selected by SuperFine Wine in Canton. In larger markets like Chicago and New York, High West has been offering retailers an opportunity to purchase their own barrels of select High West expressions that have been finished in various barrels for an extended period of time. In Michigan there have only been 2 retailers selected to participate in the barrel selection program, Tippin's Market in Saline, and SuperFine Wine & Liquor in Canton. The SuperFine barrel selection is the High West American Prairie, a blend of straight bourbons aged 2, 6, and 13 years, that has been finished in a Barreled Manhattan barrel for an additional 1.4 years. This is an exciting opportunity to try out a unique barrel finished product, on its own or side by side with the standard American Prairie expression. If you are a sucker for great marketing, pay attention to the super sweet pearlescent bottle! SuperFine Wine & Liquor has a bunch of single barrel picks ranging from Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Four Roses, Stranahans, and more. If you are ever out that way be sure to stop in and say hi to Laith, he is very friendly and knowledgable! For the far west adventurer, if you can get to Tippin's Market say hi to Dominic, he won't steer you wrong.
*Also note, High West was just purchased by Constellation brands for a reported $160 million. Hopefully big things are on the horizon!