High West Valley Tan Batch 3 marks something new, a departure from what was released as batch 2 of the High West Valley Tan Whiskey. Batch 2 was a labeled as a Utah Oat Whiskey, but batch 3 has dropped the oat part and is now labeled as a Utah Whiskey, but that’s not the only change; the mashbill has changed as well. Previously Valley Tan was 85% oats and 15% malt, but it’s now a wheat whiskey. The reason for that transition is below.
In the Distillery’s words: High West Valley Tan Batch 3
“The name Valley Tan originally referred to leather “tanned” by Mormon pioneers. Eventually it applied to anything not imported, in other words “homemade.” Homemade whiskey was also called Valley Tan, of which Mark Twain wrote: “The exclusive Mormon refresher…Valley Tan… is a kind of whisky, or first cousin to it; is of Mormon invention and manufactured only in Utah. Tradition says it is made of [imported] fire and brimstone. If I remember rightly, no public drinking saloons were allowed in the kingdom by Brigham Young, and no private drinking permitted among the faithful, except they confined themselves to Valley Tan.”
Sir Richard Burton, one of the greatest explorers of the 19th century and expert on religious places, wrote “The whisky of Utah Territory unlike the Monongahela or rye of Pennsylvania and the Bourbon…of Kentucky is distilled from wheat…”‡ Thus, we made our Valley Tan from wheat and aged it in new and used barrels for a minimum of 1 year, creating a “pretty” sipping whiskey.”
So now the question is, how does what’s in the bottle stack up to the story? The area around Park City and even the Salt Lake valley can be described as “pretty”, but what about its whiskey? On to the High West Valley Tan Batch 3 review!
High West Valley Tan Batch 3 Info
Region: Utah, USA
Distiller: High West
Mashbill: Wheat, Oat, Malted Barley
Cask: New & Used Barrels
Age: NAS (Blend of 1-6 years old)
High West Valley Tan Batch 3 Review
Apricots, oatmeal with agave syrup, vanilla, dried peaches, cinnamon, nutmeg and a light bit of lemon candy and bubblegum. It’s not an unpleasant aroma, but the overall spiritous nature shines through a bit showing its youth.
Young “craft oak”, dried fruit, oatmeal with honey, cinnamon, dried fruit, vanilla powder, nutmeg and some light bits of butterscotch, lemon candy and hay. Not quite as inviting as the aroma with a sharper spirit presence, but not terrible either.
Short dry puff of oak, honey, dried fruit, lemon and cereal grains
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Ok balance, medium body and a bit dry, but overall a soft smooth drinking experience.
I wouldn’t call the High West Valley Tan Batch 3 a “pretty” whiskey, but I could call it delicate. It’s fairly light and a bit spirity across its entire delivery, but not overwhelmingly so. The aroma is pleasant, inviting and definitely the best part of this whiskey. The palate looses me a bit as the spirity youth comes in heavier and the finish is so short I don’t really get to enjoy it.
Still, High West Valley Tan Batch 3 is an improvement over the Batch 2 and presents an interesting new whiskey from the Beehive State. High West has always been one of my favorite whiskey producers and it’s exciting to see them making their own whiskey. I have no doubt that this, and anything else they do, will continue to get better with time.
SCORE: 81/100 (B-)
*Disclosure: This High West Valley Tan Batch 3 was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
High West Valley Tan Batch 3 Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 81
- Palate - 81
- Finish - 81
- Balance, Body & Feel - 81
High West Valley Tan Batch 3 is an ok whiskey.