The unlikely story of how Kentucky-style distillery High West became the embodiment of Utah’s pioneering spirit.
來自舊金山灣區的生物化學家David Perkins某次到肯塔基州出席婚宴時，順道拜訪了著名的釀酒廠Maker’s Mark。這次拜訪經歷讓他頓悟了一個問題，從此徹底地顛覆了人生前行的路向。他開始思考：為什麼肯塔基州不能像著名的納帕郡製造出好葡萄酒一樣，釀出上佳的波本酒？於是Perk in s作出全家遷往山區的決定，並選定了猶他州的Pa r k Cit y作為目的地，開始他的創業冒險。在考慮生產自己的威士忌的可行性的時候, Perkins從Park City這個在西部大開發時期曾是銀礦開採重鎮的城市歷史裡，找到了豐富的靈感。在1826年的夏天，當地的山民就曾經聚集在附近的Cache山谷交易皮草，暢飲威士忌，而當時剛剛定居這裡的摩門教徒們也開始釀酒，釀出了著名的Valley Tan威士忌，被大文豪馬克·吐溫讚美為「摩門教徒專享的提神飲料」。Perkins這樣解釋選址Park City建立釀酒廠的原因：「作為High West所有產品的原產地, Park City這個地方簡直是為釀造威士忌而設的完美之選。」滿懷對往昔西部大開發歷史傳奇的熱愛, Perkins和妻子Jane在1870年合力建立了猶他州第一家合法的釀酒廠，命名為High West（西部高地），靈感源自奇連伊士活的西部片《荒野浪子》。2009年，憑著Perk i ns作為生物化學家的知識智慧加上妻子Jane精明又熱情好客的天賦，他們終於在Park Cit y舊城區Quit ‘ N Time滑雪場的山腳下，開了世界上唯一的一家滑雪威士忌酒館，至於開張前不小心燒掉一個250加侖的蒸餾器這樣的小挫折，也就顯得無足輕重了。作為開拓者，敢於冒風險才能取得成功，對於忠於開拓先鋒精神的High West來說，尤為如此。Perkins注重打造自己的威士忌品牌，比如Silver Oat Whiskey 、Valley Tan等等。在等待自己的品牌產品成熟的時候，他還開始向其他酒商和品牌採購威士忌，混合各種不同的威士忌來打造風味獨特的新品種。採購、混合High West的酒標上畫著神不同品牌威士忌的做法在蘇格蘭極為常見，在話傳說中的鹿角兔，一種長美國卻充滿了爭議，甚至引起了負面的評價。著羚羊角的北美野兔。但Perkins仍然堅持坦誠地公開製作方法和過程，在主釀酒師Brendan Coyle的幫助下繼續堅持自己的釀製方法，最終成為業界公認的先鋒人物。舉例來說,Campf ire,一款混合了單一麥芽蘇格蘭威士忌、波本酒和黑麥威士忌的smoky trio混合酒，味道充滿奶油糖、荳蔻香料和煙草的複合香氣。Double Rye則大膽地將味道濃烈辛辣、年份較短的黑麥威士忌與陳年黑麥威士忌調和在一起。還有High West限量發售的Bourye，混合了陳年黑麥威士忌與波本酒，就像酒標上的北美鹿角兔一樣混搭出西部舊日風情。High West這種大膽而出色的混搭風格，深得美國西部無畏進拓精神的精髓，也為它帶來Whisky Advocate 雜誌頒發的2011年「年度威士忌先驅」和2016年「年度釀酒商」殊榮。如果一定要Perkins在產品裡選出一個最愛，他說：「拿槍指著頭來逼我選擇的話，我會說我們的cult威士忌A Midwinter Night’s Dram是最喜歡的一款。我們把黑麥放進法國橡木和波特桶裡，使威士忌裡產生一點香料和葡萄乾布丁的味道，所以這種混合威士忌嘗起來就像聖誕節來臨一樣美好。」在永利拉斯維加斯，像Campfire、Rendezvous Rye、 Bourye和 A Midwinter Night’s Dram這些High West的出品在SW Steakhouse和
When Bay Area biochemist David Perkins went to a wedding in Kentucky, he had an epiphany while visiting the famed Maker’s Mark Distillery that would radically change his life. He thought, Why couldn’t you Napa-ize Kentucky and do for bourbon what Napa accomplished with wine? With Park City, Utah on his radar and a plan to move to the mountain town with his family, Perkins started pondering his next venture. While researching the idea of producing his own whiskey, he struck it rich when he learned some unusual tales from the silver mining town’s history. Not only had the local mountain men rendezvoused in summer 1826 in nearby Cache Valley for a pelt-trading whiskey shindig, but the Mormon pioneers began distilling when they first settled, producing Valley Tan, a whiskey that Mark Twain described as “the exclusive Mormon refresher.” “Park City was made for whiskey and was the perfect spot for High West, as it gave provenance to our product,” Perkins explains. Armed with an authentic story and a passion for the Old West, Perkins and his wife Jane launched Utah’s first legal distillery since 1870 and dubbed it High West, inspired by Clint Eastwood’s western High Plains Drifter. Merging his biochemistry smarts with the design savvy and hospitality genius of his wife, in 2009 they fired up a 250-gallon still and swung open the doors to the world’s only ski-in whiskey saloon, appropriately set at the bottom of Quit ‘N Time ski run, next to the Town Lift in Old Town Park City. Few ventures ever became hits without taking on a bit of risk, and High West, true to its pioneering heritage, is a prime example. While it crafts its own distillates like its Silver Oat Whiskey and Valley Tan, early on Perkins began sourcing whiskeys and creating new styles with specific flavor profiles through blending, while he waited for his own products to age. And while this practice occurs routinely in Scotland, sourcing and blending was controversial in the United States, and therefore a bit hush-hush. Choosing transparency—and with the help of master distiller Brendan Coyle—perkins forged his own path, becoming a whiskey pioneer in the process. Take, for example, Campfire, a beautiful smoky trio of peated Scotch whiskey, bourbon, and rye—a blend with notes of butterscotch, chai spices, and tobacco. There’s also Double Rye, a fortuitous melding of a brash and spicy younger rye with a much older rye into a stand-alone sipper. Fittingly, High West’s limited release Bourye—an older rye and mature bourbon blend—sports the symbolic jackalope on its label, another famous mashup of the Old West. Reflecting the unbridled spirit of the American West, High West’s bold blends garnered celebrity as “Whiskey Pioneer of the Year” in 2011 and “Distiller of the Year” in 2016 from Whisky Advocate magazine. Pressed to name a favorite, Perkins says, “If you held a gun to my head, I’d say A Midwinter Night’s Dram, our cult whiskey. We put rye into French oak and port barrels that lend a little spice and plum pudding flavor, so the blend tastes like Christmas.” At Wynn Las Vegas, High West bottles like Campfire, Rendezvous Rye, Bourye, and A Midwinter Night’s Dram line the shelves of SW
The Country Club的酒架上都能找到。「威士忌和牛排的搭配可謂天衣無縫，」SW Steakhouse的行政總廚David Walzog說，「兩者都非常注重熟成的過程，時間越長風味越濃郁、層次越多。我們的Snake River農場牛前腰脊肉的質感和味道，與Rendezvous黑麥威士忌尤其相配，這個部位的牛肉，油脂分佈像大理石花紋一樣豐富均勻，兼具和牛和安格斯牛肉的風味。而黑麥威士忌濃郁順滑的口感和美妙的餘韻，能把牛肉的美味完美無遺地充分展現出來。」在High West這裡，除了能品嚐到各種上佳威士忌，還能收穫更多的美好體驗。走進這家位於Park City的熱鬧酒館，迎面就能看見牆上掛著馬蹄鐵和採礦用具作裝飾，向西部大開發的往昔遙遙致意。如今這裡是城中的社交熱點，多得當地人持續高漲的熱情支持，還有大批來自世界各地的香檳迷和威士忌迷前來朝聖。大家可以穿著滑雪靴品嚐威士忌或是Jamesdumas大廚的西方高地菜式，像是北美野牛肉漢堡、煎鱒魚配烤甜甜圈等等。順著滑雪場向高處走，便能看到那家歷史悠久的Nelson 小屋，每年的聖丹斯獨立電影節期間, James Beard美食大獎的提名大廚們都會在這個小屋裡相聚，把酒言歡。Park City的釀酒廠繼續熱火朝天不停生產燕麥、黑麥和麥芽威士忌， High West兩年前又在附近的Wanship山區建立了一家Blue Sky釀酒廠，地處風景優美的山腰位置，是品鑑和研究威士忌的好去處。Perkins介紹說：「能夠從Park City擴張到Blue Sky是非常幸運的機遇，不過當Blue Sky的農場主出現在我們的生活中時，我們已經準備好了。」Blue Sky釀酒廠前身是一個3500英畝的牧場，這個牧場規模巨大的建築以原木和拱形天花裝飾，安放了一個閃亮亮的1600加侖蒸餾鍋（按計劃共會放4個）和一系列的釀酒設施。在這裡的Refectory餐廳，威士忌品鑑者們可以一邊享受美西高地風格的早午餐，一邊遠眺Uinta山脈的美景，不時闖入視線裡的駝鹿、鷹、麋鹿或是野生火雞更是讓人心情愉悅。Perkins在2016年10月以1.6億美元的天價把公司賣給Constellation Beverages,可謂完成了一次人生壯舉。除了為Park City帶來滾滾財源， Perkins和High West更成為了這個城市精神的一部分：銀礦、世界級的滑雪道、獨立電影節，還有超級好的威士忌，讓我們為這些美好事物乾一杯吧。 Steakhouse and Country Club. Whiskey and steak share much in common,” says David Walzog, executive chef of SW Steakhouse. “Both are highly influenced by aging; the longer they age the richer and more intricate the flavors become. The texture and flavors of our dry-aged Snake River Farm strip loin pairs particularly well with Rendezvous Rye. This cut has a lush marbling that’s the result of its cross of wagyu and angus. The rye has a lush smoothness and beautiful finish that accentuates the flavor of this great steak.” But High West is as much about the experience as it is about the whiskey. Walking into their lively saloon in Park City, one finds horseshoes lining the walls, a nod to its historic roots as a miners’ livery stable. Today, it’s the town’s social hub, thanks to a groundswell of enthusiasm from the locals and the constant global stream of Champagne powder hounds and whiskey fans who can be found sipping flights in their ski boots or savoring Chef James Dumas’s western alpine cuisine—think bison and beef burgers, pan-fried trout and decadent grilled donuts. Up the road, their historic Nelson Cottage has become the stomping grounds for James Beard-nominated chefs during the Sundance Film Festival. And while the Park City-based gastro-distillery continues to mill, mash and produce oat, rye, and malt whiskey, along with offering tours, High West’s two-year-old Blue Sky Distillery in nearby Wanship is a staggeringly impressive mountainside mecca for whiskey sipping and study. “Expanding from Park City to Blue Sky was a stroke of luck, but when the Blue Sky ranch owner came into our lives, we were ready for it,” explains Perkins. Carved into the hillside of a 3500-acre former cattle ranch, the massive architectural beauty, with its exposed wood and vaulted ceilings, houses a shiny 1600-gallon Forsyth copper pot still (with plans for four total) and a booming production facility. At its Refectory restaurant, imbibers drink in the views of the Uinta Mountains over a high country western brunch, elevated by the occasional moose, eagle, elk, or wild turkey sighting. It’s been quite a ride for Perkins, who sold his company in October 2016 to Constellation Beverages for a cool $160 million. But beyond cashing out, Perkins and High West have become part of the legacy that defines Park City: silver mines, world-class skiing, indie films, and damn good whiskey. Cheers to that.
The mythical jackalope—a jackrabbit with antelope horns—adorns High West’s labels.
在SW Steakhouse能品嚐到Snake River農場出產的金牌級牛排。Snake River Farms gold-grade steak at SW Steakhouse.