For part 26 of the finished whiskey series we are back in Utah with High West tasting two of their American Prairie Bourbon Barrel Selects. This first is from NASA Liquor in Houston and is finished in a Madeira cask and the second is from the distillery and is finished in Muscat. I’m not a huge fan of American Prairie Bourbon but I’m hoping a good barrel select will overcome the weaker base spirit.
Age: NAS finished for 1 year
Abv: 99.4 proof
Nose: Rich red fruits, oak, warm spice, floral honey
Taste: Syrupy mouthfeel with strong caramel and cherry notes
Finish: Long sweet and warm finish as caramel and cherry give way to baking spices and oak
8 - an excellent bottle I’ll buy from time to time
Great - A great deal, I’d buy it again
Age: NAS finished for 1 year 2 months
Abv: 100.8 proof
Nose: Chocolate, mineral notes, white sugar, faint fruit.
Taste: Vanilla icing, minerality, chocolate, faint oak. Decent mouthfeel.
Finish: Short to medium finish with lingering mineral and vaguely sweet notes
3 - Better than not drinking whiskey but just barely
Poor - Overpriced, not worth the money
With a lot of these High West Barrel Selects I don’t feel like I need to track down another one but I definitely want to try the next one. The NASA pick fell neatly into that category. On the other hand the distillery bottle is the worst High West Barrel Select I’ve tasted. We know High West started blending Dickel into APB a few years back and some folks, my self included, suspect the ratio is only going up. This bottle tasted like younger Dickel finished in Muscat which didn’t do it any favors. Well I guess I didn’t try the unfinished version but I doubt this helped.
Overall I think sticking with the ryes from High West is the way to go. I’ve tasted through a number of their barrel selects now and none of the ryes disappointed were the bourbons were very hit of miss.
TL;DR: NASA pick was great, the distillery one was very Dickely