Saturday, June 22, 2013

High West American Prairie Reserve Bourbon

David Perkins, the blender at High West distillery, has been pumping out wonderful new expressions of bourbon and rye whiskies since their inception, in 2007. Each expression I’ve tried has been exciting and unique – modern in the best sense. Labeled as a "blend of straight bourbons," the American Prairie Reserve is a blend of bourbons distilled in more than one state. In this case, it's a combination of a six year old bourbon from MPG (formerly Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana) in Indiana with a mashbill of 75% Corn, 20% rye, 5% barley malt and a ten year old Four Roses bourbon (mashbill B) from Kentucky with a 60% Corn, 35% rye, and 5% barley malt mashbill.

Some have made issue with the larger price tag, which is somewhat justified, but it does appear to me that the Four Roses has a larger hand in this whiskey due to high spice forward palate.

High West American Prairie Reserve Bourbon:

Price: Around $42 for a 750ml bottle.

Packaging/Labeling: High West labels have never been the most esthetically pleasing in my mind, but they definitely stand out on the shelf, and are well designed. Good amounts of information which is all one can ask for.

Alcohol Content: 46% abv, 92 proof. Proof does really good things to this whiskey.

Nose: A subtle, albeit pleasant, nose on the first pour. Opens up into a floraled butter corn, cotton candy, and fruit nose. Wonderful – if you like Four Roses Single Barrel, this should please you.

Palate: Candy sweetness is the first thing which explodes on your tongue. Super sweet, but it has a relatively dry mouthful throughout, meaning the sweetness does not overtake the senses in a more syrupy bourbon. The short rye spice and pecan pie finish is a good thing in this case, never overwhelming.

Conclusion: As always, High West has blended together another unique whiskey any enthusiast is sure to enjoy. Though some may not like the dry finish, Prairie Reserve offers a style and flavor profile which is exciting and new, while never straying from a delightful sipper.


  1. Love this one as well. Brought back a bottle from the distillery recently after touring High West. Super smooth and complex, not the least bit hot at 92 proof.

    1. It is quite fantastic. My father introduced me to it - and once the first bottle was finished he went out and bought a second one!

  2. Will definitely try this. Was at the store on my last shopping trip and I loved the label. Ended up settling for a couple of bottles I knew I liked though

    1. I encourage it. It's a really great expression and exactly what I like to see with a blended American whiskey.