Enhanced Single Barrel Prairie
There are times when the specs alone can be enough to sway a purchase. For example, if Buffalo Trace offered me a single cask of 12 year old Weller, I would probably agree to buy it without tasting it (in fact, I know I would). That being said, there are times when flavor alone means everything and that was certainly the case while choosing this single barrel of High West "American Prairie," a blend of straight Bourbons from MGP in Indiana and what's long been rumored to be Four Roses (whether that's still the case in the new Constellation era, I don't know). There's no info as to what's in this bottle other than what I previously knew about the whiskey upon its initial release. What I do know, however, is that about two years ago an empty barrel of the High West "Rendezvous" rye was filled with a finished batch of "American Prairie" and it was allowed to sit for an additional year and a half, marrying the flavors further and pulling from the rye residue in the wood. I tasted a sample from that very cask earlier this year and did a serious double take. At 51.3% ABV, the flavors were bold, but balanced and the spices (both peppery and sweet) were intensified well beyond what I'm used to tasting from the general release. Tasting it again now, I'm taken aback by how straightforward and delicious it is. Beyond the vanilla and the oak are hints of orange zest, polish, fresh pencil shavings, and dried herbs. If you're generally a fan of the High West whiskies, consider this a huge step up from the norm. I'd buy five more casks just like this if I could.