I grabbed this High West High Country Single Malt when I visited the distillery back in February. Unfortunately, my trip was on the same weekend as Sundance so I couldn’t get a full tour, but I got to look around quickly, taste some cocktails, eat some food and, of course, visit the gift shop.
I was a bit disappointed to not get to do a full tour, but it was fun to see how much, and how little, had changed up there since my last visit 10 years ago. Before leaving SLC to move to LA, High West was one of my last food and drink stops, it was one of those places my friends and I hit up for weekend brunch as much as possible in those days.
It’s crazy to think about how much time has elapsed since those days and even crazier to think about how quick it went by. It feels like yesterday even though it was over a decade ago. I need to make my next visit sooner than that.
High West High Country Single Malt – Details and Tasting Notes
Region: Utah, USA
Distiller: High West
Mash Bill: Blend of 3 100% Malted Barley recipes (#1 = Two-Row Malt + Crystal-60 + Chocolate Malt, #2 = 100% Two-Row Pale Malt, #3 = 100% Peated Scottish Malt)
Cask: New Charred Oak, ex-Bourbon, ex-Rye and ex-Port casks
Age: 2+ Years (2-9 year malt blended together)
Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Malt, vanilla, woody oak, caramel, fresh apricot, jelly fruit candy, under-ripe banana, touch hay and nutmeg
hay-like malt, banana, fruit, candy, banana, nutmeg, woody, oak, and spice, touch nutty and vanilla marshmallow and cereal sweet
Medium -> Soft and malty, banana cereal sweet and woody
BALANCE, BODY and FEEL
Good, medium, soft and sweet
High West High Country Single Malt – Overall
Aroma is softly fruity and heavily malty with light notes of those gummy orange slices candy as it opens and has a slight roasty note to it like almost-charred-mallows or light coffee; Palate has a beautifully farmy character to it I’m enjoying that gives it an earthy tone and helps offset the young, but not crafty, notes; Finish is warm, fruity and farmy with a touch of rustic charm.
I’m liking this one. It’s fun, it’s interesting, it’s different and it reminds me a lot of the Montana Roughstock Pure Malt in its overall character and which was an oddly and perversely enjoyable whiskey I still miss!
High West High Country Single Malt – Final Thoughts and Score
This single malt is warm and fun and I want to sip it by a fire surrounded by snow, and given that I just moved to the mountains that might happen this winter. Though soft and sweet without being boring thanks to the earthy farmy quality of the malt delivery it’s a whiskey I could, and have been, sipping on no matter what the weather.
The youth of the High West High Country Single Malt, which isn’t fully integrated yet, is noticeable, but it’s not the dominating characteristic. It’s not jarring or bad, but shows there’s more to develop in this whiskey and with such a promising start I think this could end up being a fantastic American Single Malt in the near future. Even if its status of a single malt is, fairly, contested due to being distilled in both its Wanship and Park City locations.
High West High Country Single Malt Review
Soft and light, this is a whiskey that more than makes up for its lack of complexity with the overall warmth and tastiness of its delivery.