High West Distillery Tasting Notes

Posted: September 27, 2014 in American Whiskies, Whiskies

High West Campfire Whiskey 46%

Batch 80-2

A blend of straight rye (95% rye, 5% malted barley), bourbon (75% corn, 30% rye, 5% malted barley) and peated Scottish whiskies. The rye and bourbon is 5yrs plus and sourced from Seagrams

Tasted: Apr 2014

The aromas are initially soft and honeyed with some lazy corn and lightly herbal, but hard rye. Gentle smoke and Bowmore-esque violet notes follow along with robust, sweet peat smoke. The rye and the peat mingle to give the nose quite a ridged feel but the sweet honey balances. Definitely a substantial nose!

The palate opens with charred wood smoke and earthy bonfire soot. Sweet peat and violet notes mingle with the sweet corn and oak but the sharp rye grains pierce the sweetness. Stunning intensity of big, mouth-filling bourbon notes but it’s the rye that dominates the finish with a dry, woody and herbal spiciness. Wow, what a finish!

High West Campfire 46%

Re-Tasted: Sept 2016

Nose: Plenty of charred oak and coffee with what appears to be thick, oily peat. Hints of tar, creosote and burnt herbs follow. The corn gives weight to the aromas and with time a touch of cinder toffee and dark chocolate.

Palate: Sweet, oaky and vanilla’d with oily corn, followed by salt, peat, coffee and tar. Surprisingly well balanced with a touch of treacle, smoked meat, bitter chocolate and lightly medicinal herbs.

Finish: Long with the charred oak returning but the tar, smoke and treacle lingers.

Conclusion: A blend of peated malt and Bourbon? Very odd, but it works surprisingly well.

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