High West

High West is an American whisky brand and distillery in the west of the US, in Utah. It is the first whisky distillery in Utah since 1870. The distillery produces Bourbon and Rye Whisky. The High West whiskies, named after the location of the distillery at 2,133m above sea level on the Wasatch Range in the Rocky Mountains. High West also boasts that it is the only distillery that can be reached on skis.

High West Distillery

The High West Distillery was founded in 2006 by David Perkins and his wife Jane. David, a former bio-chemist, developed a special passion for the fermentation and distillation process in the course of his work and has pursued the dream of having his own distillery since 2001. In 2004 David and his family moved to Park City (near Salt Lake City), started their project and first distilled the High West Whiskey in early 2007.

This makes the High West Distillery Utah’s first distillery since 1870. Because the state was particularly known in the 19th century for its whiskey producers who were closely associated with the Mormon and Brigham Young communities. Records show that between 1862 and There were at least 37 distilleries in 1869. However, no distillery had been in operation in Utah since 1870 - up to the High West!

What started out as a garages distillery in 2007 has now become an internationally renowned brand and has become a distillery with four unique locations. The High West distillery has two saloons, a distillery building complex and a bottling plant in Salt Lake City. In 2016, High West was voted ‘Distiller of the Year’ by Whiskey Advocate magazine.

“High West Whiskey” now encompasses four different locations: In addition to the small distillery and saloon in Park City, a larger distillery was opened in Wanship, Utah in 2015, “Nelson Cottage” specialized in whiskey and dinner, and the saloon in the airport from Salt Lake City provides travelers from all over the world with the very special taste of the Wild West.

House style

High West currently manufactures Bourbon and Rye Whisky. The distillery has a wide range of aromas from sweet, vanilla and delicately spicy, to strong and strong spicy with aromas such as cloves, cinnamon and black pepper. Prior to 2018 none of the whisky in High West whiskies were produced by High West themselves.

The current portfolio consists of the American Prairie Bourbon, a Blend of Straight Bourbons. The Double Rye consists of a blend of two Straight Rye whiskies between two and seven years of age. One Rye from their own distillery comprised of 80% rye and 20% malted barley. The second Rye, sourced from MGP of Indiana, is a 95% Rye with 5% malted barley mix.

In addition, High West produces a whisky called “Campfire”. Campfire is a blend of smoky Scotch, bourbon and rye whisky. This unique combination brings light smoke from the Scotch to the classic sweet-spicy flavors of Bourbon and Rye Whisky. You should enjoy it with good old friends, or good-looking strangers in the campfire.

Production

Production started with a small 250 gallon (946 liter) pot still in a historic stable in downtown Park City. However, demand quickly exceeded production capacity, so a new copper pot-still plant with 1,600 gallons (6,056 liters) capacity was established 20 minutes away in the small town of Wanship. The Park City location is now in operation as a saloon restaurant.

HistoryUntil the large, modern High West Distillery was opened in 2015 High West products were entirely the output of other distilleries, since then the distillery and the brand are part fill blended whiskies. This means that whiskies of other renowned distilleries are bought and then blended with their own, a common practice in the USA. All whiskies are bottles with at least 46% ABV and without chill filtration.

A former organic chemist, David Perkins, visited Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, in 2001 with his wife Jane, while he is working on the conservation of the prairie. He was enthusiastic about the production process and discovered many parallels to his profession. Thus, the desire was aroused by his desire to create his own distillery.

In 2004, he moved with his family to Park City in Utah, where he started with his company. He acquired got a 250 gallon still and opened a small saloon. In 2009 he opened his Saloon in Park City. Many years of hard work moved into the country with the development of his brand High West with whiskies.

In 2015, David Perkins was able to make his dream a reality. The real High West Distillery opens in Wanship, Utah. Here, tastings, tours and whisky seminars could be carried out. What started as a small business in 2009 has belonged to the US group Constellation Brands Inc since October 2016, one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of alcoholic beverages.

Distillery Factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
High West Utah USA
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 2007 - Present Grain High West Tour Link
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
Brendan Coyle David & Jane Perkins

High West Timeline:

2001: David Perkins visited Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky

2004: David Perkins moved with his family to Park City in Utah

2015: The High West Distillery is founded at Blue Sky Ranch

2016: Constellation Brands acquire the High West Distillery for $160 million