Review: High West A Midwinter Nights Dram 1.1313 and The Barreled Boulevardier

We’re finally getting around to reviewing High West’s latest products, a new rye and a second barrel-aged-and-bottled cocktail. These have both been around for a few months, so please forgive our tardiness!

High West Distillery and SaloonHigh West A Midwinter Nights Dram 1.1313 – Never mind the typo (it should be “Night’s,” no?) and never mind that I’m reviewing a clearly holiday-themed spirit in mid-June. Wow, this rye whiskey finished in French oak and ex-Port barrels is cherries cherries cherries from start to finish. The nose features macerated cherry fruit, steeped in vanilla and a touch of dusty wood. On the tongue, a powerful brandied cherry character emerges, with notes of ginger, vanilla cream, rhubarb, and fruitcake. OK, maybe I’m imagining the fruitcake, but the festive name of this spirit couldn’t be more appropriate. Initially a bit off-putting with its incredible fruitiness, the whiskey eventually settles down into something that’s quite enjoyable and wholly unique. Reviewed: “Act 1, Scene 1313” of this “limited engagement.” 98.6 proof. A- / $80

High West Distillery and SaloonHigh West The Barreled Boulevardier – A Boulevardier cocktail is composed of 1/3 bourbon, 1/3 sweet vermouth, and 1/3 Campari. Here, High West uses Vya vermouth and Gran Classico in lieu of Campari, then ages the combination in ex Bourbon barrels. Here, some ice helps to bring this to proper cocktail temperatures and to add a little meltwater to the mix. The result is an interesting mix of cocoa powder, red cherries, honey syrup, and a bitter, spicy kick on the finish. It’s a strong drink, one which benefits from slow sips and lots of reflection, as the bitter aftertaste it leads can be hard to shake. For a segment of the populace in love with the Negroni, this will probably have them endlessly abuzz. 72 proof. B / $55

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3 Responses

  1. David June 11, 2014 / 7:42 am

    Hi Chris, glad you enjoyed the dram. To the typo, we thought the same thing. However when we saw the cover to the first edition of “A Midsummer Nights Dream”, apparently the book publisher forgot the apostrophe and since we were copying the cover almost to the “t”, we figured we’d leave it true to the original (a link to the very attractive cover is here: So there you have it!
    Best, David Perkins

    • Christopher Null June 11, 2014 / 8:29 am

      Wow – I stand humbled then! Thanks David!

  2. John Malatino June 16, 2014 / 7:20 pm

    So excited for this Midwinter Nights Dram, sounds so delicious. Have not seen it in the wild yet, but your review gets me revved-up to go and try. High West has a way with the ryes. Or more accurately they find the good ryes to bottle.

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