It's An Experience: High West Whiskey, Dining, and Distillery in Park City
About 25 minutes outside of Park City, Utah, surrounded by the Wasatch-Uinta Mountains, sits High West Distillery, a multi-faceted facility that offers daily tastings, educational tours and whiskey and food pairings—and houses an eye-catching 1,600 gallon copper pot still. Not only is this one of the most scenic distilleries I’ve been to in the U.S., but their award-winning whiskey is also quite tasty.
During our visit, we toured the distillery while learning a ton about the distilling process, too. High West began in 2006 as a tiny operation in Park City before expanding to its current location in Wanship (there’s still a venerable High West outpost in Park City) in 2015. The owners, husband and wife team David and Jane Perkins, moved their family to Park City in 2004 to pursue their dream of owning a distillery and living in the (wild) West.
You could easily spend a few hours at the Distillery, touring, tasting, lounging in or outdoors and shopping. If you’re feeling peckish, the kitchen offers a full menu of Southwest-inspired palate-friendly options that pair excellently with the whiskey selection.
Note: Reservations are recommended for Sunday Brunch Buffet and Thursday evening Supper Club dinners. Distillery tours are offered on the hour Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 11am, with the last tour at 3pm (reservations are recommended; and check the website for summer hours, etc.). Family-friendly.
The original home of High West Distillery (Utah’s first distillery since 1870!), the High West Saloon in old town Park City, now serves as a gastro-distillery and tasting room, with the original still in operation. Located at the bottom of Quit N’ Time ski run and next to the Town Lift, the Saloon is the only ski-in distillery in the country. The Saloon serves modern Western fare (think charcuterie, salads, fish, steak, etc.) alongside their craft-distilled whiskies (you can also order beer and wine). History abounds in the building housing the Saloon—built in 1914, the Ellsworth J. Beggs house (an historic two-story Victorian style pyramid house) was a prominent fixture in Park City throughout the 1900s; the building next door (also owned by High West) was originally a livery stable and then a mostly-vacant auto shop for years before the Perkins revitalized the building in 2008.
Note: The Saloon is ages 21+ only
The culinary outpost for High West, The Nelson Cottage offers summer prix-fixe four-course private dinners paired with, you guessed it, whiskey! The dinner menu changes weekly and guests dine at communal tables with optional whiskey pairings (you can also order wine by the bottle and/or cocktails). Seatings at 5:30pm and 8:30pm; reservations are required. Daily dinners during winter season. Check the website for seasonal offerings.
Bottom line: It’s a special occasion kind of place. Whether its a company retreat, big birthday or just the two of you. You can’t throw a stone in Park City without hitting a bottle of High West whiskey; the Perkins and their dedicated team have done a fabulous job of bringing Western distilling culture (back) to Utah and this is supremely evident in the culture they have cultivated through their high-quality products and well-designed and preserved outposts.