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  1. #21
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: High West Pioneer!

    Okay, Compass Box, now maybe I don't know a lot about scotch, don't have the vocabulary, you know. Just a dumb yank. Can't put things in the proper context, so here's my simple-minded American question. How many scotch blenders are lionized for their fabulous combination of two -- count 'em, two -- component whiskeys?

    As for this basic disagreement we're having, we all have access to the same facts and have reached different conclusions. In this case, I'm okay with that. I've always been comfortable with ambiguity. This seems to me a case where two people can reach opposite conclusions from the same set of facts without either of them being wrong.

    To me, the thing with Perkins is that from the moment Rendezvous was released, all the press about it talked about this rye whiskey 'made' by this little distillery in Utah. Nothing about blending, nothing about sourcing. The whole angle was that it was this Utah-made product. So we're left, as we often are, arguing about the definition of 'made.'

    At that point the distillery didn't even exist. It was only after people like me started writing that he couldn't have 'made' this 14-year-old rye (or whatever it is) when he just got his license two months ago. Only then did we start to hear about this great blender.

    I recount that to say, that's just me. And that was long before I tasted the stuff. That's how I came to it. Other people came to it differently. I don't see any point in me trying to convince you or you trying to convince me. I respect the conclusions of people who see this differently than I do. I'm not trying to change anybody's mind. I'm just writing this to offer an insight into why I feel as I do about it.

    I am, in fact, sucking on some LDI whiskey right now (not David's) and it's having its way with me.

  2. #22
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    Re: High West Pioneer!

    Okay, Compass Box, now maybe I don't know a lot about scotch, don't have the vocabulary, you know. Just a dumb yank. Can't put things in the proper context, so here's my simple-minded American question. How many scotch blenders are lionized for their fabulous combination of two -- count 'em, two -- component whiskeys?
    Quite a lot

    Compass Box for one. I named their Double Single my whisky of the year 2010. They have other 2 components whiskies out, one was a pure grain

    Double Barrel by OMC

    A lot of bottlings, especially IB's are vatting of two casks, a bit more rare is 3 casks, but this is done as much for pumping up the volume as for blending reasons

    DTC Lonach series is vatting of understrength whiskies with stronger ones to make 40+ whiskies

    There are other's out there, LapBeg etc. can't think of more right out of my head. In my opinion it's one of the hardest catagories of whiskies to excellence in, the two components has to work together and improve each other, not bland together and nullify.

    Double Single by CB is an unusual whisky but probably the best example

    Another example, but here I am stretching the catagory a lot, is Arran Peacock which is a vatting of ex-bourbon casks and ex-sherry casks. It's just a very good example of how two types of whisky works together, but I dont think it belongs in the mentioned catagory

    Steffen

    PS. I am with Sku here. I never got the idea that HW was making those Rye's themselves, and I always wondered how anyone could think that
    Last edited by macdeffe; 02-24-2011 at 22:03.

  3. #23
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: High West Pioneer!

    Another part of the issue here is how different the U.S. market is for bulk whiskey. Even if a scotch blender winds of making a blend of two components, I assume he has had the opportunity to taste many in order to select those two. In the U.S., you're lucky if you can find a source for two different whiskeys, let alone a broad portfolio to chose from. How much skill is being applied when you simply mix together the only two whiskeys you could get? I'm not saying that's what Perkins did (or didn't do), but that's the nature of the current bulk whiskey market in the USA.

    And, sure, serendipity is always a factor, and I'm not saying you're wrong or trying to change your mind.

  4. #24
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    Re: High West Pioneer!

    I've sort of been thinking this is like when someone on sports radio says, "I could be the General Manager of the local team if I had the opportunity, and be just as successful as the current guy."

    And the thing is, the guy on sports radio is sort of right. If someone who has a good, working knowledge of baseball was the GM of a team, he (or she) could probably do much of what a GM does (analyze talent, try to build a team that fits together, etc.) And if you're the general manager of the Yankees (or Red Sox or some other organization with a huge budget), part of what you do is kind of a no-brainer: you're not really restricted financially. You just pick the best players you can find and try to hire them, then you sit back and watch. Their playing is not your product, even though you may get praised or criticized for it.

    But being the GM of the Yankees or Red Sox is more than picking the most talented players. It consists of the politics of dealing with your owner, schmoozing with agents, negotiating contracts, dealing with the media, etc., etc.

    Maybe there is some similarity here, in that David Perkins isn't just mixing whiskey. He had to set a long-term vision for the company, raise the money, deal with his employees, negotiate with distilleries, market his product, etc. etc, etc.

    It could be he didn't do that as wisely as he might of, as Chuck alludes to. I'm not making a comment on him particularly, I have no idea. If he or the company ever tried to deceive anyone that they were making the whiskey in the bottles, that's bad form, sure. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't, there seems to be some dispute on that point, and again, I do not know.

    I'm just saying that maybe what John Hansell is recognizing him for is wider than simply mixing two whiskeys in a bottle. When it comes to vatting whiskeys, I'm sure there are many folks on SB who are just as skilled at it as David Perkins, maybe even moreso. (I'd love to try some of Gillman's concoctions). But there's more to it than just that.

    And just to be clear: I do not know any of the people involved here, and I've never had any High West products. No dog in this hunt, just some thoughts.

  5. #25
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    Re: High West Pioneer!

    Just thought I'd chime in: I'm not really sure whether they deserved distiller/pioneer of the year.

    But I do know one thing: they hunt down/source/bottle/sell some damn fine rye (rezendevous rye) and have an interesting brewpub type thing that they seem to have done well with (maybe not pioneered, but navigated through foggy seas).

    And I also like the idea of putting a distillery in a place where you wouldn't normally think one might flourish (nothing against mormons or skiiers).
    Last edited by trumpstylz; 02-25-2011 at 04:03.

  6. #26
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    Re: High West Pioneer!

    Quote Originally Posted by macdeffe View Post
    Sorry for the harsh words.

    I think I should moderate my participation in discussions on this forum. Our basic definitions and approach to the world of whisk(e)y simply doesn't match. Nor does the logic of argumentation. And it's too hard to discuss matters with people if you don't share some kind of basic foundations

    Steffen
    Gosh, that is a shame. Your "agree with me or STFU" attitude will be missed.
    My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
    I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?

  7. #27
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
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    Re: High West Pioneer!

    Well, it's John's award to give out, so he can define the term "pioneer" any way he wants to. But I don't think what David Perkins is doing meets even a broad definition of "pioneer". To wit

    1. Blending whiskies has long been practiced in the US both prior and following Prohibition. I agree that we haven't seen much blending of straights and/or other whiskies in our lifetimes, but it was very common prior to the '50's. By definition a "pioneer" is the first (or amongst the first) to do things in any enterprise/endeavor/etc. David has "resurrected" the practice of blending, not created it.

    2. "Pioneers" generally "blaze new trails", "develop new methods", etc that others may ultimately use to their betterment. What David (and others like him) have done is to take advantage of a very limited supply of surplus stocks of whiskey and got them to the market. Enterprising.....absolutely.....pioneering.....no.

    I have enjoyed David's products in the past and wish him luck in his current distilling operations. But if asked about the term "pioneer", David's operations would not have come to mind.

    Oh wait.......High West......."pioneer"......maybe there is a tie-in.

    Randy

  8. #28
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    Re: High West Pioneer!

    Quote Originally Posted by doubleblank View Post
    Well, it's John's award to give out, so he can define the term "pioneer" any way he wants to. But I don't think what David Perkins is doing meets even a broad definition of "pioneer". To wit

    1. Blending whiskies has long been practiced in the US both prior and following Prohibition. I agree that we haven't seen much blending of straights and/or other whiskies in our lifetimes, but it was very common prior to the '50's. By definition a "pioneer" is the first (or amongst the first) to do things in any enterprise/endeavor/etc. David has "resurrected" the practice of blending, not created it.

    2. "Pioneers" generally "blaze new trails", "develop new methods", etc that others may ultimately use to their betterment. What David (and others like him) have done is to take advantage of a very limited supply of surplus stocks of whiskey and got them to the market. Enterprising.....absolutely.....pioneering.....no.

    I have enjoyed David's products in the past and wish him luck in his current distilling operations. But if asked about the term "pioneer", David's operations would not have come to mind.

    Oh wait.......High West......."pioneer"......maybe there is a tie-in.

    Randy
    What he said. :IagreeRandy:
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  9. #29
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    Re: High West Pioneer!

    [quote=macdeffe;235566

    If you think making good whiskey is as easy as you says, go make better stuff yourself..., and until then stfu

    Steffen[/quote]


    Steffen

    I hate to see you holding back like this why don't you tell us how you really feel.

    Paul
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

  10. #30
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    Re: High West Pioneer!

    [quote=sku;235567]
    As to being a pioneer, who else is making high quality blends of straight American whiskey from different distillery? No one that I know of. David practically created this category in American whiskey.

    quote]

    I have seen several old-timers in auctions that are blends of straight ryes. I have bought 1 or 2 miniatures. I did find one empty bottle and it say Melrose blended straight rye whiskies, 6 years old and it seem to have been bottled 1947. Thereby itís not anything new, but rather taking up something that has been asleep for a long time. Making whiskey from oatmeal that many micro distilleries are making is another example of the same. A dammed good thing if you ask me.
    Leif
    Swedish lover of American whiskey

 

 

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