Whiskey is the new black.
That’s what Dave Perkins proprietor of High West Distillery and Saloon in Park City is preaching.
He invited some food media types up to High West last week to introduce his newest whiskey, Son of Boureye.
That’s right. You call it SOB for short.
It’s an evolution of the Boureye, a blend of corn and rye straight whiskeys, that High West introduced two years ago—the label has a picture of another unlikely western hybrid, the jackalope.
Perkins says he opened High West at just the right time, when whiskey was coming into its own in American gastronomy. We’d been through a single malt phase, a vodka phase, and single barrel bourbons and quality whiskies were stepping into the spotlight as the taster’s choice. High West rode the wave. And now whiskey is having its moment as the chicest tipple.
The first bottling, Rendezvous Rye, won all kinds of national awards and since then High West has produced winner after winner, garnering a reputation as a cult favorite among whiskey-drinkers. Now the demand for Rendezvous exceeds production capacity—every capitalist’s dream.
while he explained about complex carbohydrates,
yeast digestion and barrel charring and we cleared the beer from our palate with barrel-aged manhattans. Then we trouped upstairs for a five-course whiskey tasting dinner, comparing different ages and blends, with Chef James Dumas’ menu, every dish—from rabbit pate to s’mores—designed to complement the caramel and vanilla flavors of whiskey.
I have to admit that whiskey is not my favorite food pairing beverage. I would have better appreciated a big red wine to go with my bison,
conventionally palated whiner that I am, and saved the amber fluid for sipping and storytelling by the fire. But this was a learning experience and Perkins has a zealot’s passion for his subject—just look how excited he is about his tanks!–
and there’s no question that I appreciate and even like whiskey a great deal more than I did.
I did learn one extremely important fact that you all need to know: Because of recent changes in liquor laws, High West is allowed to sell bottles of whiskey in its on-site store on Sundays.
That makes me like whiskey even more.