High West High Country
High Country is a limited release American single malt whiskey from High West, which hits shelves annually in December. While it doesn’t have an age statement on the label, the distillery states that its components are aged between 2-9 years.
It is one of the first whiskeys released by High West that is distilled and blended entirely in-house, without any components sourced from other distilleries. Initially released as a Utah-only limited release, it now joins Rendezvous Rye and Campfire as a nationwide, seasonal limited release. In 2021, all three featured special labels painted by Ed Mell.
According to the distillery, High Country is “distilled ‘on-the-grain.’ This means that we leave the grain in during fermentation and distillation, instead of filtering it out. In the tradition of American and Scottish whiskey making, we use both freshly charred and second-use oak barrels during the maturation stage.”
High Country has used several different mashbills or blends and the second-use barrels have varied. For example, the 2019 and 2020 Utah-exclusive editions of High Country included a component that was aged in used French oak port wine barrels.2Whisky Advocate – Exclusive: High West Debuts High Country American Single Malt Whiskey The first national release in 2021 instead used to use Oloroso sherry barrels3Maxim – High West Launches New Single Malt Whiskey.
Fig jam on toast points, whole grain waffles with honey drizzle, cracked walnut shells, dried wildflowers, cedar
Honeyed cereal, crème caramel custard, almond macaroons, toasted biscuits with herbal jelly, subtle banana taffy
Cola, chocolate wafer, ginger marmalade
Using 100% in-house distilled whiskey, High West High Country has a hard time differentiating itself from the burgeoning American single malt market.
High West High CountryDecember 2023
High West High CountryDecember 2022
Introduced a new tri-blend, using:
- 85% base malt
- 14% caramel 60 malt
- 1% chocolate malt
High West High CountryDecember 2021
Used second-use Oloroso sherry casks for aging in addition to used bourbon and rye barrels and new charred oak.
High West High CountryDecember 2020
High West High CountryDecember 2019
Made from a blend of whiskeys using one of three different malted barley mashbills1Whisky Advocate – Exclusive: High West Debuts High Country American Single Malt Whiskey. High West did not disclose percentages of each component:
- Two-Row Malt / Crystal-60 Malt / Chocolate Malt
- Two-Row Pale Malt
- Peated Scottish Malt
After distillation, each of the three recipes is filled into new charred oak, used bourbon and rye casks, and port casks.