High West Distillery, Utah’s first legal distillery since 1870, releases a limited edition 14-Year Light Whiskey. “At High West, we believe education leads to appreciation so we wanted to shed some light on this rarely discussed type of whiskey,” says High West founder David Perkins. “This is a spirit that’s not likely to be available again for a long time.”
Light whiskey denotes a grain spirit that’s been distilled at a higher proof than a straight whiskey — between 80-95% alcohol by volume (ABV) versus less than 80% ABV respectively. It’s typically used as a component in about 95% of the world’s blended whiskeys. In the U.K., what they call grain whiskey is essentially the same thing as light whiskey.
“This whiskey was distilled at a higher proof on the still, which reduces the heaviness of the flavors, and reveals more floral and fruit subtleties,” said High West master distiller Brendan Coyle. “It was aged in used barrels, as opposed to first-use charred barrels, which lends more elegant complexities with a spirit-forward character.”
High West discovered 100 barrels of light whiskey at MGP made from corn that was distilled between 1999 and 2001, aged in second-fill barrels. That wood aging imparted a traditionally light spirit with anything but typical results.
Beginning March 19, 2016 this special bottling is available exclusively to visitors at the High West Distillery at Blue Sky Ranch, followed by a roll out at the High West Saloon & Distillery in historic Old Town Park City on April 16, 2016.
High West 14 Year Light Whiskey (92 proof)
Visual: Medium gold.
Nose: Unusual grape-like nose with a vanilla overlay. Quite fruity and mouth-watering. Additional notes of spicecake add panache. Entrancing.
Taste: Marshmallow, vanilla caramel creme and mild cinnamon out of the gate. As the flavors settle during a second taste, softer more subtle malty toast and mild rye flavors come through. This is interesting, as there is no rye used in the grain bill.
Finish: Long and sweet like a lover’s kiss. And like a lover’s kiss, you’ll want to keep coming back for more.
Overall: Another fantastic whiskey from High West. Currently one of my top favorite American distilleries.
GSN Rating: A
For more information go to: High West
Filed under: Spirits & Liqueurs