Saturday, February 20, 2021

High West A Midwinter Nights Dram Blended Straight Rye Whiskey - Act 8, Scene 3


- $90
- 98.6 Proof
- Act 8, Scene 3
- Utah

Let me just start by saying that the Dram is my jam! In fact, when I reviewed Act 3, Scene 2 nearly five years ago, I thought it was one of the best things I had ever tasted! Of course, since then people have caught on, the price has gone up (though not too much compared to other products) and the demand has certainly increased. That's no surprise given that it's a limited release, that it's done so well, and that it's probably priced just about right.

I honestly haven't been out hunting for these bottles when they've been released. I've had the Midwinter Nights Dram many times, mostly while skiing in Utah. But, my local manager knows my preference for rye whiskeys, and she was kind enough to set one of these aside for me, without me even asking, knowing I'd appreciate getting my hands on one. And appreciate it I did! After all, it's been almost five years since I got to enjoy my own bottle!

As would be expected from a port finished whiskey, the nose was rich and pungent. The wine notes really came through, with notes of blackberry and plum. There was also a distinct raisin note. Aside from those fruit notes, I also got some rich dessert like notes, like dark chocolate and brown sugar. In one word, this smelled rich, and I could tell I was headed for more of a dessert-like whiskey here. 

The flavor very much followed suit. Those rich, dark fruits absolutely took center stage. I was getting all sorts of these flavors, from plums and dates to black raspberry to currant. It had a richness and a brightness to it all at once. What's more is these fruit notes did not make it overly sweet, but rather provided some good balance in that sense.

The dark chocolate from the nose also came through pretty heavily, offering a very light sweetness, but more of a richness balanced out by some much needed bitter notes. I also got an earthy walnut note that seemed to fit in perfectly with everything.

The finish was not as long as I had expected or hoped. However, it was on the finish that I found myself thinking of Christmas. I was getting brown sugar, raisin and even a bit of maple syrup. It definitely had a fruit cake character to it. 

If I have one knock on this, though, is that the rye notes didn't seem to shine like I remembered them doing in the past. What I've normally loved about this whiskey is that balancing of the spicy rye with the sweet and rich port flavors, and here the rye spice just seemed to take a back seat. Don't get me wrong, this was still a fantastic whiskey, and once I popped the cork I couldn't put the bottle down. I just wanted a bit more of the rye to come through is all

Grade: A-

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