High West American Prairie Bourbon Whiskey

High West American Prairie Bourbon Whiskey


  • Brand:High West
  • Categories:Bourbon, Whiskey
  • ABV:46%


High West American Prairie Bourbon Whiskey

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High West American Prairie Barrel Aged Bourbon Whiskey is a complex blend of straight bourbons, producing an aromatic whiskey that is rich and earthy on the palate. This American bourbon showcases well-balanced flavors of candy corn, honey nougat and sweet corn bread biscuits, with a finish of vanilla and caramel apple. A blend of straight bourbons aged from 2 to 13 years in charred white oak barrels, this High West whiskey is a great sipper and a thoughtful person’s whiskey. Its balanced body is also ideal for mixing a Manhattan or countless other whiskey cocktails. This bottle of whiskey helps preserve the West – for each one sold, High West donates a portion of its after-tax profits to the American Prairie Reserve. Choose High West and enjoy delicious craft whiskey made with the pioneering spirit of the West. Sip Responsibly. © 2020 High West Distillery, Park City, UT. 46% alc. by vol.

According to High West’s website, “American Prairie Bourbon is named after the American Prairie Reserve, a group working to create the largest wildlife reserve in the lower 48 states. Capable of running at speeds up to 55 miles per hour, the pronghorn antelope [featured on the bottle label, a painting by Diane Whitehead] is North America’s fastest land mammal and performs the continent’s second longest land migration of more than 500 miles. Because of their love of travel, pronghorn require large areas of open and intact grasslands. Moreover, pronghorn populations have decreased 98% since the 1800’s due to habitat destruction. American Prairie Reserve helps pronghorn through its ongoing fence removal efforts and by conserving wildlife corridors.”

10% of High West’s after tax profits from the sale of American Prairie Bourbon bottles are donated to the American Prairie Reserve.

The bottle in review is from Batch No. 20I25.


Light and airy, delicate scents of orange peel, light caramel, and a touch of dill gently emanate from the glass. It takes a deep inhale to pull these scents out, as the nose is almost too light, resulting in a feeble introduction to the sip. While there is nothing off putting about the aromas, the lack of potency is notable and offers little to enhance the sip.


A welcomed bit of life is breathed into the bourbon on the palate, as spice begins developing in intensity from the start. Sweeter flavors of caramel and vanilla are complemented by more unique flavors of anise and orange zest, though they feel almost fragile in nature. Lightweight yet pleasant, the palate offers little to dislike, but little to really love either.


Spice crescendos in the finish, which finally gives a sense of energy you might expect from drinking a bourbon neat. Sweet notes mingle in, with apricot, vanilla, and honey accompanying the underlying spice. Straightforward and slightly more appealing than the palate, the finish is medium to long and enjoyable, ending the bourbon on a high note.


High West deserves credit for being one of the first innovators to capture fans’ hearts with modern bourbon blending. Dave Perkins, the company’s founder, was a chemist by training and applied his skills to bourbon blending. In the early 2010s, High West was a company many admired, taking pause in the fact that pulling together a wide range of whiskeys from distilleries from around the country could yield such interesting results. Back then you might have called it whiskey magic. Today you’d call it commonplace thanks to all of the great blenders that have popped up since that time.

Constructing a larger production distillery and selling the company to Constellation Brands in 2016, the days of High West magic seem like a thing of the past. The company must meet consumer demand, incorporate its own distillate into the mix, and contend with a larger demand in the wholesale sourced whiskey market.

While American Prairie Bourbon remains a sourced product, its label and backstory are far more exciting than the whiskey itself. While there is nothing specifically off putting about the bourbon, there is nothing exciting about it either. For a bourbon with so many mashbills, such a wide range of ages, and presumably from multiple distilleries in multiple states, the end result is a bit disappointing. Few will dislike it, but few will get excited about it either.



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