Thursday, December 29, 2016

Utah's High West is magazine's 'Distillery of the Year'

And, the winnah is ... !
Sometimes, I know, I protest too much. I often disparage "best of" lists on the simple basis that it is utterly impossible to accurately delineate with any certainty which food, beverages, etc., are the "best" in a world in which there are so very many possibilities.

Nevertheless, so many readers enjoy such listings that I inevitably give in and write about them. Here is the latest.

Whisky Advocate (formerly Malt Advocate) magazine has named the Utah whiskey producer High West its "Distillery of the Year." I find the proclamation particularly interesting, based on the magazine's reasoning. To wit:

"When we named David Perkins, founder of High West Distillery, our 'Pioneer of the Year' for 2010, it was a controversial decision. Now, six years later and following the recent sale of the company to Constellation Brands for approximately $160 million, we expect there will still be some naysayers. Yes, High West ... is a great American success story. However, their success is not the reason for our recognition, but just one more result of what whisky enthusiasts know to be true: High West delivers innovative and delicious whiskeys, expands the definition of what it is to be a distiller, and pioneered a successful new paradigm for craft distilling."

As Whisky Advocate notes, High West is two distilleries -- one in  ParkCity, one in Wanshio -- where master distiller Brendan Coyle produces whiskies, including High West Silver Whiskey Western Oat and Valley Tan, an interpretation of historic 19th Century Utah whiskey that first appeared in 2011.

"However, Perkins launched his enterprise and earned his reputation with his innovative blending of sourced whiskeys -- like Rendezvous Rye, a blend of straight rye whiskies, and Campfire, a blend of scotch, bourbon, and rye, reviving some forgotten categories of American whiskey, and creating new styles of whiskey in the process."

You can read more here.

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