If you’ve never heard of High West you should rectify that and get on the bandwagon. They’re an Utah distillery that sources their whiskey and then makes all kinds of interesting expressions. This quartz article does a great job of talking about High West’s philosophy and the art of blending. Unfortunately, some of their limited expressions are hard to find e.g. Midwinter Night’s Dram and Yipee Ki-Yay. Someday hopefully in my bourbon hunts I’ll get around to scoring a bottle of these.

This particular bourbon, however, is not hard to find and is sourced from three different whiskeys from at least two different distilleries. The first whiskey is a two-year-old MGP Seagrams whiskey and then the are two mystery Kentucky bourbons; the first being a six-year-old whiskey and the second being a thirteen year-old. One of these is rumored to be four roses and some of the notes definitely support that theory.

Now on with the tasting.

High West American Prairie

Batch 15F18; 46%
Nose: Strong oak up front followed by fruit, sugar, sage, and a tinge of all spice at the very end.

Taste: Dry oak is the first sensation to hit the tongue.  Half way between the mid-tongue and the tip you can feel the dryness as it moves towards the tip of the tongue. As the dryness behind to fade the pepper kicks in with a slow burn which follows the same route as the dryness, leaving hints of molasses and a smokey tobacco.

Finish: Despite a bit of a sweet, fruity nose this bourbon is all earth. The younger bourbon is probably a bit too overpowering and it could use some more mature bourbon to help even out the flavors. Despite that the flavors of oak, pepper, sage, and smoke are an interesting combination that evokes the image of the actual prairie.

The aftertaste is dry with a bit of a bite and leaves an oaky, sage taste in the palate while simultaneously drying your tongue and leaving a swath of a burn across your tongue like a prairie fire.

Verdict: B

This is a good, interesting bourbon but the potential is there for greatness of done of the younger whiskey is tempered a bit. I’m curious how or if it will change batch to batch. I think I still prefer their double rye expression but this one is also good and is a very pleasant interesting sipper made for warm nights on the porch in your favorite rocking chair.