High West’s A Midwinter Night’s Dram is one of, if not the only, annual limited release from the Utah-based distillery. High West takes their usual Rendezvous Rye Release (now a blend of 4-7 year old rye from MGP and High West), adds less water to get it to 49.3% ABV, and finishes it in port and French oak barrels to create A Midwinter’s Nigh Dram. Port is a very dense, sweet, and nutty dessert wine that adds a lot of dark and sweet fruit notes (think cherry, dates, prunes, raisins, grapes) and some nutty / cheesy / buttercream funk. I don’t know much about French oak, so I won’t comment on what it brings to the whiskey. The only other port finished rye I can think of, outside of Double Rye! barrel selects, is Sagamore Spirit Port Finish, so A Midwinter Night’s Dram is a pretty unique whiskey.
This happens to be my first experience with this, which is exciting, so let’s get some first, second, and third impressions in this High West A Midwinter Night’s Dram Act 8 Scene 1 review. Even before smelling or tasting, I already notice the beautiful dark reddish hue, courtesy of the wine finish.