High West Double Rye Whiskey is a very spicy American rye whiskey from Utah, a blended of two very high rye content whiskies – think cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
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 is billed as the world’s only “Ski-in Gastro-distillery.”
Founder David Perkins was a originally 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. A 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 Double Rye Whiskey is a blend of two whiskies, aged between 2 and 7 years old, with the following mash bills, in a secret blend:
- 95% rye, 5% barley malt from MGP – the younger rye, distilled in a column still producing cinnamon, clove, anise, eucalyptus buttons, and evergreen “gin-like” flavours.
- 80% Rye, 20% Malted Rye from High West Distillery – the older rye, distilled in one of High West’s copper pot still which adds a richer, bolder character and just enough caramel sweetness and woody vanilla richness to calm the “bite” of the younger rye.
Aged in new, charred American white oak barrels and bottled non chilled filtered at 46% ABV (92 Proof).