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High West這家本是肯塔基州风格的酿酒厂,如何變成了猶他州進拓精神的生動寫照?一起來看這個神奇的故事。

Wynn Magazine - - STEVE WYNN - by Ann Wy­coff

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.

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