High West American Prairie Reserve is a Blended Whiskey from Utah named after the impressive 5,000 square mile wildlife reserve in northeastern Montana.
The High West Distillery was founded in 2006 by David Perkins. It is located in Old Town Park City, Utah and was the first legal distillery in Utah since 1870. The original High West Distillery & Saloon is located at an altitude of 7000 feet and was billed as the world’s only “Ski-in Gastro-distillery.”
Founder David Perkins was a formerly a biochemist and, after a trip to the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, had noted the similarities between fermentation and distilling and his job in biochemistry. With this in mind David relocated his family to Utah, in part because of his love of the old west and partly to pay homage to Utah’s little known whiskey heritage. The first spirit was distilled in 2007 using a small 250 gallon pot still at the saloon. In 2016 founder David Perkins sold the High West Distillery to Constellation Brands where it joins other prestigious spirits brands including Casa Noble Tequila and The Real McCoy Rum.
Today the company has four sites including a new distillery in Wanship, Utah with a 1600 gallon copper pot still and visitor’s centre. There is capacity for another 3 stills at the site. As well as a range of whiskies, High West also produces 7000 Vodka and limited edition and seasonal products. The annual production is now around 70,000 cases of whiskey per year. As well as producing their own spirit High West have always used some whisky from other producers. Key supplier is the MGP Distillery (ex-Seagram’s) in Lawrenceburg, Indiana and they also use a Scotch Blended Malt Whisky in Campfire, for example.
High West American Prairie Reserve Blended Whiskey is a complex blend of straight Bourbon whiskies with a minimum of 2 years old. The whiskies comprise the following:
- 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% barley malt mash bill from MGP
- 84% corn, 8% rye, 8% malted barley mash bill from undisclosed source
- Other top secret whiskey components!
Blended in a secret ratio and aged in new, charred, white American Oak barrels. Bottled non chilled filtered at an ABV of 46% (92 Proof). The result is very drinkable, “frontier style” whiskey from High West who are doing a fantastic job of creating a house style with other people’s whiskey.
High West will donate 10% of after tax profits from each bottle to the American Prairie Foundation. The idea is to restore the reserve to the state that Lewis and Clark would have encountered it in on their 1804-1806 expedition.