Yes, you read that title right: the newest release out of the constantly innovative High West Distillery is a frankenwhiskey of the highest order, blending three of our favorite styles of the dark liquor into one frighteningly consumable bottle.
David Perkins of High West Distillery is no newcomer to upping the ante of whiskey blending (we have a soft spot for his Double Rye!), and his only current competition for the title of Blend Baron is Compass Box's John Glaser (we love his Great King St., along with pretty much everything else he makes). But more important than his willingness to take whiskey into uncharted territory is his ability to successfully execute on the promise of his fevered dreams. And he's done it again with Campfire.
This whiskey is completely unlike anything we've ever tried. At first sniff, there's the smoky, peated Scotch doing a jig with fresh green spicy rye notes, while the bourbon brings dark cherries and a touch of oakiness. It's a shifting symphony—one moment Scotch is on top with smoky malt, then the rye fights back with sharp spices and grassy notes, and all the while bourbon in the background with brown sugar and wood sweetness. But the wonderful thing about this whiskey is that it keeps shifting. Each sip is a new revelation, as one whiskey takes center stage the others recede and share the spotlight. Despite the fluidity, no one spirit dominates or speaks out of turn; it's a remarkably harmonious blend, and the whole is somehow greater than the sum of its parts.
Quite simply, there's nothing else on the market that tastes like this, and it tastes good. Highly recommended if you're into brave new imbibing experiences.
A 750 mL bottle retails for between $55 and $65 depending on local liquor pricing.
The technical info for those interested in that kind of thing:
All whiskies included in the bottling are 5 years or older. The American bourbon and rye were distilled at LDI (here's a good primer on LDI if you're curious). The bourbon is made from 75% corn, 20% rye and 5% barley mash, and the rye 95% rye and 5% barley mash. The Scotch is more mysterious, all we're told it's a blended malt from the mainland.
We received a press sample for review consideration.
About the author: Andrew Strenio is a lover of all things potable. Since sneaking his grandmother's bourbon balls, he's moved on to touring distilleries and sipping snifters. He works by day making documentary television and films for an independent production company in Brooklyn.