Skip to content

Go West

When running a drinks magazine, along with being sent myriad press releases, you also get invited to a growing number of product launches, tastings and industry events.

The most recent invitation came from High West Distillery’s UK PR agency who had organised a product launch that we were invited to.

Unfortunately, we didn’t think we would be able to attend, so a full bottle of High West Bourbon was sent out so we could sample what turned out to be a stunning bourbon.

The initial impression was the bottle itself, which incorporates an embossed logo, just below the neck of the bottle; on the back of the bottle is the name of city and state where the distillery is based.

The glass is also slightly distressed and the heavy bottle conveys a sense of heritage and authenticity. You could imagine walking into a saloon in the 1800s and this bottle wouldn’t look out of place.

However, this is not to say that the bottle’s labelling resembles a ‘Wanted’ poster and looks like a prop from ‘High Noon’; there’s no pastiche here. The confident serif font announcing the brand is set above a pen-and-ink drawing, below which is just one word: ‘Bourbon’ and its ABV.

As good as the branding and packaging was, the most important element is always the content.

We poured the bourbon and sampled the golden spirit – a blend of straight bourbon whiskeys, which have been aged in charred white American oak barrels, for at least two years.

It is an incredibly smooth bourbon that we tasted neat and over ice.

On the nose we were immediately drawn in with subtle spicy notes; the mouthfeel was light yet complex, with hints of citrus and honey, underpinned with a smokey, earthiness, but the overall flavour was never harsh.

This is a bourbon that would be enjoyed by those trying it for the first time and connoisseurs, alike, who know the good, the bad and the ugly of bourbons.

Here at Hand Crafted Drinks Magazine we are always interested to understand what it was that sparked the desire to launch a drinks business.

For David Perkins, who launched High West Distillery in 2006 with his wife, Jane, the inspiration was a visit to a whiskey distillery in Kentucky in 2004.

As a former biochemist, David realised he could apply his skills to the process of distilling.

David and his family moved to Park City, Utah – driven by his affection for the Old West and Utah’s little-known whiskey history – where High West Distillery started distilling with a small, 250-gallon still.

During the last 18 years the company has grown to become an internationally-recognised, award winning brand.

Judging by the quality of the bourbon we were sent we can only see High West Distillery go from strength-to-strength.

For more information visit their website

Photographs: Copyright Dan Campbell Photography