Chocolate is often recognized as the official flavor of February, but whiskey is the heroic savor of this sentimental holiday. The good folks at High West Distillery & Saloon recognize the importance of this dessert-and-drink relationship and offer a chocolate and whiskey pairing ($18) for a little spice to your sweet.

Working with artisan chocolatier Ruth Kendrick in Ogden, High West created a flight of six silky, delectable chocolates (think Myer Lemon white chocolate or Beehive Honey dark chocolate) to compliment the characteristics of three of High West’s most popular spirits: Son of Bourye, a peppery and sweet blend of rye and bourbon; Rendezvous Rye, a spicy marriage of a stout 6-year-old rye and a soft 16-year-old rye; and Silver Western Oat, a clear, un-aged whiskey that mimics the tropical tastes of white tequila.

To enjoy the pairing to its maximum potential, High West Executive Chef James Dumas imparts a few pro tips. First, taste your way from light to dark whiskies. Then work your way through the flight, alternating between a sip and a nibble. The chocolate helps absorb the sweetness of the whiskey, while the whiskey helps prolong its own aromatic flavors. And for the trepid whiskey connoisseur, Chef Dumas offers more sage advice: a drop or two of water will tame the whiskey’s strong bite while enhancing its overall flavor.

Or forego the chocolate all together and go straight for the good stuff. High West’s newest spirit, A Midwinter Night’s Dram, is a limited-release bottle that will be introduced at the distillery on Feb. 14. Featuring the award-winning Rendezvous Rye whiskey, the spirit is finished for several months in port and French oak barrels. The result is a “mulled” whiskey touched with vanilla, caramel, cinnamon and dried fruit – perfect accompaniments for cold winter weather.

High West Distillery is open daily, offering its chocolate and wine pairing year-round. The Midwinter Night’s Dram will be available at High West Distillery beginning Feb. 14 for $79.99. The specialty bottle will be available in liquor stores nationwide beginning October 2014.

High West Distillery & Saloon
11 a.m.–10 p.m.
703 Park Ave, Park City
435-649-8300
highwest.com