A Spirited Day at High West Distillery with Visit Utah Tourism

High West Water feature

I wasn’t sure what to expect on my first trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, but it turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise. I recently got to visit the High West Distillery with a group of energetic women bloggers. This fun tour was part of our schedule at the Women in Travel Summit, which took place in Salt Lake City with help from the Visit Utah Tourism Board. It was a great chance to connect and enjoy a new experience together.

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Early Start and Whiskey Tasting

Our tour kicked off bright and early at 9:30 am, a lot earlier than my usual cocktail hour. However, the real excitement began with the whiskey-tasting session. Here, Cal, our enthusiastic guide, and our gracious waiter kept the whiskey flowing. Admittedly, I jumped into the tasting before having lunch, which left me a tad tipsy—definitely in high spirits.

I highly recommend the distillery tour and a special meal at the saloon afterward. My favorites included the Campfire, which truly tastes like a BBQ in a glass, capturing the essence of an outdoor campfire with its smoky blend.

Insight into Distilling and Sustainability

During the tour, we learned about the distilling process from start to finish. Cal explained how High West is committed to sustainability, using every by-product from the distillation. For example, the spent mash is given to local cows, a practice that supports local farming and reduces waste. We also discovered that the whiskey is aged in white oak barrels sourced from Scotland, which contribute significantly to the flavor profile of the whiskey.

Yummy Local Dining Experience

We had lunch in the beautiful dining area with amazing views of the snow-capped mountains. It was a great setting. We started with Squeaky Bee Cheese Curds, which I tried for the first time and loved. Everyone laughed when they saw me taste them for the first time. I’m a fan, lol. Then we had Chicken Wings that went really well with our drinks because they were so smoky. Our waiter suggested we try everything, so we did. I ended up splitting the Blackened Chicken Sandwich and a burger– both were very flavorful and filling.

Everything was thoughtfully paired with High West cocktails, enhancing the flavors of our meal. I loved the smoky notes of the High West Campfire, and the complex flavors of the Slopeside Sling, a refreshing concoction of rum, pineapple, lime, chartreuse, and spiced syrup. I also tried the Dead Man’s Boots, a bold mix of HW bourbon, tequila, lime, and ginger beer. Afterwards I was a dead woman, lol.

Connecting Through Stories and Mishaps

This experience was not just about tasting whiskey but also about connecting with stories and people. From the history of High West, started by David Perkins in 2007 after a career in biochemistry, to the intricate details of distillation that Cal shared with us, every moment was rich with information and enjoyment. Cal showed us the handprint of the unfortunate worker that touched the copper still—a stark reminder of the distillery’s intense processes. Although I was promised a cowboy poetry reading that didn’t happen, it gives me a perfect reason to return. I’m holding High West to that promise the next time I visit Salt Lake City!

Take a Little Cowboy Spirit Home

As our day at High West Distillery came to a close, the majestic, snow-capped mountains surrounding us provided a breathtaking backdrop that made the visit even more memorable. Before you head out, make sure to stop by the gift shop. It’s filled with High West branded merchandise, from unique apparel to specialty glassware, allowing you to bring a piece of the cowboy spirit home with you.

A heartfelt thank you goes to Visit Utah and High West Distillery for a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a whiskey aficionado or a lover of rich history and stunning landscapes, High West is a destination that should not be missed. While I didn’t enjoy a cowboy poetry reading this time, it only gives me the perfect excuse to return. So, I am looking forward to fulfilling that promise on my next trip to Salt Lake City!

High West Distillery is located near the ski slopes at Blue Sky in Wanship, Utah. There is another location in Park City.

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High-West-Distillery-with-Visit-Utah-519x692 A Spirited Day at High West Distillery with Visit Utah Tourism

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