“Are you sure
That we are awake?
It seems to me
That yet we sleep, we dream.”
– William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream
High West Distillery in Park City, UT is one of my favorite distilleries because of the creative way they blend their whiskey. Not only do they get creative with their whiskeys, the also get creative in naming them. A Midwinter Night’s Dram is their latest offering and is of course taken from William Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Midwinter Night is High West’s fantastic Rendezvous Rye finished in port and French oak barrels. All of their aged whiskey is sourced from another distillery. Rendezvous Rye is a blend of two straight whiskies, a 16-year old rye and a 6-year old rye. The 6-year old rye has a mashbill containing 95% rye and 5% barley malt and is from LDI (now MGP). The straight 16-year-old has a mashbill containing 80% rye, 10% corn, and 10% barley malt and is from the Barton Distillery. This whiskey is a limited offering.
Big notes of fruity red wines with mint. Some rye spice also comes through. I know this may sound weird but it’s very warming and calming.
Definitely spicy up front with a lot of sweetness as well. Warm spices, cinnamon, clove, vanilla, caramel and mint. Very complex and well balanced. The big fruity notes that were found on the nose coat the mouth with a good rich feeling. An excellent long linger of dark fruits and caramel with the port comes through very nicely.
Special barrel finished whiskey is growing in popularity. It’s a technique that’s easy to get wrong because once you leave it in the barrel too long, the balance of whiskey to barrel finish gets thrown out of proportion. I’ve tasted a few whiskeys with port finishes and this is by far my favorite. It’s almost perfectly balanced and tastes like a warm, baked dessert. I’m a big fan. High West definitely understands the importance and complexity of a great balance with their whiskeys, especially this one.
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