Review: High West American Prairie Bourbon Flaviar Barrel Select (2019)
American Prairie is one of High West’s more affordable bottlings, a blend of sourced bourbons at least two years old. The current composition includes spirits 2 to 13 years old, including whiskeys with these mashbills/sources:
75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malted barley from MGP;
84% corn, 8% rye, 8% malted barley from an undisclosed source;
other whiskey components undisclosed “due to contractual reasons.”
This Flaviar bottling is a unique barrel pick which is finished in rum casks for a whopping 2 years and 4 months — and bottled at 52% abv instead of the usual 46%. Let’s give it a try.
The nose is punchy with the underlying whiskey, big with rye spice, some toasted corn, and burnt crackers. A hint of the tropics emerges with some air time, along with notes of menthol, banana, and a tiki-like clove note. That said, dusky underbrush notes tend to dominate.
The palate kicks up with a classic bourbon composition, hot but approachable with a growing caramel and butterscotch note. A significant almond note and some cedar elements add nuance, but the finish falls back on familiar flavors of caramel corn plus a lingering baking spice character. Surprisingly, the whiskey has a somewhat gritty and occasionally harsh quality, though the experience is never short of engaging. I look forward to going back to it over time.
104 proof. Reviewed: Barrel #9124.
B+ / $51 / flaviar.com