Veteran Bourbon Review: High West Straight Blend

Highwest Straight Bourbon


High West Distillery


Blend, full mashbill undisclosed




92 Proof

Purchase Price$38 (2022)

Official Product Website

History – Meet the American West’s most innovative and inviting bourbon. A blend of straight bourbon whiskeys, aged a minimum of two years in charred white American oak barrels. Never chill-filtered or carbon-treated and utilizing a variety of high rye content mash bills to convey an earthy complexity (with a bit of spice). The perfect marriage of richness and brightness expressed by notes of honey nougat, sweet cornbread biscuits, and lemon zest with caramel apples and pecan pie lingering on the finish. Whether sipped or stirred, this bourbon is blended to be your tried and true. 

High West Distillery was founded in 2006 by David Perkins and his wife, Jane. David, a former biochemist, was inspired to open his own distillery after seeing the parallels between the fermentation and distilling process and his own work in biochemistry during a trip to a whiskey distillery in Kentucky. In 2004, David and his family relocated to Park City, Utah to begin their new venture, where they began distilling in 2007. They chose Park City because of David’s love of the Old West and Utah’s little-known whiskey history.

High West began with humble roots, opening a small, 250-gallon still and Saloon in an historic livery stable and garage. What was once a small operation in downtown Park City has grown to be an internationally-recognized, award winning brand.

Value –  This Bourbon doesn’t have a crazy price tag, but it still isn’t worth what I paid. I think with this one, you are paying for the marketing and the cool bottle. See for yourself. There are many lower priced Bourbons that will knock this one’s socks off.  

Appearance – This bottle is tall and reminds you of the old whiskey bottles you see in old western movies. It has a nice high west stamp in the glass and comes with a corked top. It’s filled with a lighter golden bourbon. 

Nose – Caramel/Vanilla/Brown Sugar/New Oak – The aroma is very light. You get a big hit of ethanol to the face. It’s better to let this one open up for a bit before going in. I mostly get notes of caramel, vanilla, and brown sugar. I also get faint hints of new oak. Overall kind of sweet and plain with a decent amount of ethanol.

Palate –  Creamy/Earthy/ Grassy/New Wood – The first sip kind of shocks you. It’s creamy but watery at the same time if that makes any sense. It has a dominating earthy and new wood flavor with a strange burnt butter taste. I don’t notice much sweetness at all. It has a bit of dried grass flavor to it as well. The hotness is mild to medium and goes away quickly. This isn’t a very flavor packed bourbon and the flavors it does have, don’t mesh well.

Finish –  Lingering/Earthy – The finish is lingering and leaves your mouth dry. The mild burn continues for about 15 seconds. Since your mouth feels dry, it makes you want to grab another sip. You are left with a mild earthy taste in your mouth. Not too enjoyable. 

Summary – This bourbon is lacking a lot. I don’t like that there is no age statement, a partial mashbill, it is a blend of who knows what and the flavor is just not there. I think that people who hate sweet flavors and enjoy a dry mouth will like this Bourbon very much.

This is a bourbon that I won’t purchase again period. I always try to end on a positive note, so in this case I enjoy the fun old west-looking bottle. 

– John McGowan


Uniqueness – 1-10 – 2

Appearance- 1-10 – 6

Nose- 1-20 – 9

Palate- 1-20 – 6

Finish- 1-20 – 5

Value- 1-20 – 5

Reviewed By:

John McGowan on 10/04/2022

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