Monday, November 27, 2017

High West Binny's Private Selection A Midwinter Night's Dram Finished American Prairie Bourbon

VITALS:
- $35
- 100 Proof
- NAS
- Utah

It's been a while since I've run out in search of a particular bourbon. But, when I got the e-mail that Binny's got in some new barrel select whiskeys from High West, and that one of them was the American Prairie Bourbon finished in Midwinter Night's Dram barrels, I knew I had to get my hands on one. It didn't hurt that they were $5 off either.

My hope was that taking a bourbon I already enjoy and finishing it in barrels that once held a finished whiskey that I love (A Midwinter Night's Dram), would result in a bourbon with just a subtle port finish and hopefully a bit of the rye spice as well.

The nose lived up to expectations. It's soft and light, with notes of vanilla and cereal grain, kind of like frosted flakes.  It also had the scent of dark fruits, like cherry and plum, transferred from the port wine barrels. The port influence was not overpowering, though, and I was encouraged by the traditional notes that came through on the nose, despite the finish.

On the palate, as expected, the port influence was more subtle than most wine barrel finished whiskeys. To me this was a good thing. It allowed the vanilla and caramel notes of the bourbon to come through without being overpowered by the raspberry and dark cherry flavors from the port. The "second fill" nature of this bourbon found a good balance of the right amount of the port finish to complement and not overpower.

Unfortunately, the flavors from the rye that previously filled the barrel did not seem to carry through to the bourbon. The spiciness I wanted just wasn't there.

The finish left a nice, lingering vanilla and raspberry flavor that was absolutely delicious. At first it wasn't noticeable, but on later pours it was all I noticed, and had me reaching for the next pour. I enjoyed it so much that I finished the second half of the bottle in about a third of the time it took me to finish the first half.

Overall, this is a soft, easy-drinking finished bourbon that seemed to find a great balance of port influence, simply by reusing the barrels that once housed what has become High West's most sought after product. Part marketing gimmick and part great idea turned out a pretty good whiskey!

Grade: B/B+

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