This dram smells like Christmas, like a fruit cake you’d actually want to eat, like setting fire to St. Nicholas as he sits on a Yule log. Wait, what? OK, that was just a little too much free associating there, but this dram inspires that kind of riffing. Damn. Just lovely and sweet and savory on the nose. Put this in a brandy snifter, warm it slightly over an open flame, swirl it around and let it breathe while you stand in front of a roaring fire in your bathrobe–while your bathrobe is open–and you’d have the ideal family-free holiday moment.
On the mouth, we found prominent port notes, pomegranate on porridge, and portly portmanteaus from your prom (“StephAnnie”–ugh). We also got some spicy rye notes alongside a slight syrupy note and a bright green note that’s not quite rye, but more barely masticated eucalyptus. It’s crazy: bright, assertive, and emphatic and empathetic, but definitely not pathetic. [John: He’s doing it again.] In fact, it’s really, really nice, like finding six or seven of those bright green gelatinous bits in your slice of fruit cake–when you love those things.
The finish is fiery and a tad resinous, like a Formula 1 crash crossed with a Pinewood derby. The finish rings for a while after you swallow. It’s Santa’s sleigh bells you’re sure you can hear as you lie in bed and pray for sleep. There are also hints of a threshing floor lined with pine and cedar–you know, just to make things more difficult.
This is the concoction of a talented but slightly crazy elf on a rare winter day off. And his name is David.
The High West A Midwinter’s Night Dram is the inside of our family’s minivan the year we decided to drive around and look at the Christmas lights in the neighborhood after we’d eaten a dinner of chili–Ain’t nothing like it. But it makes for great stories and memories for a lifetime.
–Our thanks to David Perkins and High West for the sample!