by Josh Peters of The Whiskey Jug
I first came across The Whiskey Jugs reviews on Reddit. While my reviews include an ugly Microsoft Paint image for the review Josh takes beautiful filtered pictures with text clusters to describe the Whiskey or Bourbon review.
Being a Utah native for the better part of the last 30 years I’ve had to spend a good amount of my adult life figuring out ways to acquire whiskey, beer, and wine that wasn’t easily available in the state run liquor stores. One such adventure even landed me in court for 2 days and resulted in a misdemeanor bootlegging charge, which I feel is more a badge of honor than a black spot on my record.
I tell you all of this because never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that one day the tables would turn and I would be actively seeking ways to get booze out of Utah instead of into it. Now living in Los Angeles it’s sometimes difficult to track down some of the amazing whiskey coming from High West. This craft distillery in Park City, UT (the first distillery in UT since prohibition ended) is not only home to a fantastic ski-in ski-out gastropub and bar, but they blend some really amazing whiskey there too.
Founded in 2007 High West has gone the route of many small distilleries and created a line of unaged spirits and, most notably, blending and bottling whiskey from other distillers to help tide them over financially while their own whiskey ages. This particular bourbon is a blend of LDI and Four Roses. The LDI is a 6 year bourbon comprised of 75% corn, 20% rye and 5% barley. The Four Roses is a 10 year bourbon made up of 60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% barley malt. The 10 year Four Roses alone is a great reason to give this a go.
Another reason to pick up a bottle is that High West will donate 10% of profits (after tax) from each bottle to the American Prairie Foundation which is building the largest wildlife reserve in the lower 48 states. So not only are you getting good bourbon, but you’re being a philanthropist as well. The only way this could get better is if it counted as a charitable donation on your taxes.
Distiller: LDI & 4 Roses blended by High West
A nice deep amber with ruby facets
When first popping the cork it’s a bit bitey and full of iodine, but if you let this guy breathe some great things start to emerge. Things like dark fruit leather, overripe strawberries, hints of anise, vanilla custard, and toasted marshmallow. Add a splash of water and the caramel starts to bellow and that traditional spicy bourbon nose really kicks up.
It has a fantastic peppery pop to it that blends well with the bourbon spice and cinnamon notes that hit up front and the in the back. After that initial pepper pop there are nice notes of strawberry jam, and not that over sugared garbage you get at the store, but more like the all natural stuff you get at the farmers market. Rounding out the taste is a grainy rye like flavor. Add some water and fantastic roasted corn emerges. With or without water there is a nice light oak flavor that ties
the whole thing together in a nice neat package for your palate.
Hot. There is a remarkable amount of unexpected roughness in this bottle. That said, it’s still very manageable and really seems to add rather than detract from the overall character of this whiskey.
Cherry licorice and a hint of sherry kick off the aftertaste and then it fades down to green apples before it finishes out with something akin to fresh cut grass and barley. Sounds gritty, but it’s quite pleasant