Saturday, September 21, 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Ever wonder what us Idahoans get up to on the weekends when we’re not harvesting potatoes or farming cattle? Party like a local and kick back for a fun evening of Idaho-centric pastimes with our new signature event that will tie together all of our favorite things: Boots, Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ at B.
During the party, event co-sponsor High West Distillery will have multiple ambassadors present a rye whiskey tasting and “spread the gospel” about this delicious drink. In anticipation of this unique opportunity and to learn a bit more about the bourbon biz, I spoke to Dave Perkins, High West’s proprietor and tasting extraordinaire who will be in attendance….
SHVF: What goes in to making a good bourbon?
DP: Lots of details: good grain, a clean fermentation, a careful distillation and then patient time in the barrel.
SVHF: Can you describe High West’s distillation process, in layman’s terms?
DP: Most people don’t know that Whiskey starts life as beer. So the first step in distillation is making a great distiller’s beer. It’s a little more sour than drinking a regular beer, but that’s a good thing as many of the delicious flavors develop in an acidic environment. That beer is then put in our potstill and heated to the boiling point. Because alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water (173F vs 212F), the alcohol “separates” as steam and the water is left behind as a liquid. We then cool that alcohol steam in a condenser and it comes out as a liquid that we call the distillate and an imbiber calls whiskey.
SVHF: What should people expect (look forward to) about a High West whiskey tasting?
DP: The whiskey will be good! Better yet, if someone from High West is there, you will be guaranteed to learn five things about whiskey you didn’t know.
SVHF: What is your favorite food to pair with bourbon?
DP: Because the two predominant flavors in Bourbon are caramel and vanilla, Bourbon pairs really well with desserts. Other alcohols seem to get all the glory on dessert menus (port, single malts, cognacs, dessert wines) to the exclusion of Bourbon. I am on a mission to get bourbon on more dessert menus! My favorite is a good Bourbon and any chocolate dessert.
SVHF: What is your favorite quality in a bourbon? And your least?
DP: I love caramel and vanilla and because Bourbon is loaded with these, I love Bourbon. Can you think of anyone who doesn’t like caramel and vanilla? Satan? Stalin? My least favorite quality? There’s nothing I don’t like about bourbon.
Well, the tasting hasn’t even started yet and I’m pretty sure I just learned at least five things that got me (and I hope you as well) excited about the upcoming High West tasting at the 5B Party. While you taste and enjoy delicious food and drink, there will be live bluegrass music by Dewey, Picket, and Howe that’s sure to keep your boots moving all night long.
Enjoy a concert, amazing food and drink, great company, and a beautiful backdrop of the famous Bald Mountain all for only $50. Get your tickets soon, as this event is a sure sell-out!