Last night I had the pleasure of attending a launch soiree at The Rest for a new High West Distillery endeavor: Western Standard Saloon Lager. Yep, High West has gotten into the beer biz.
And it makes sense. You see, High West has a lot of bourbon barrels on their hands. So, why not age beer in them? That’s precisely what Western Standard is: the first barrel-aged lager produced as a session beer.
Typically, barrel-aged beers are robust, hearty, small-batch brews like sours and stouts, and usually pack a wallop in terms of alcohol levels. And that’s what makes Western Standard unique: it’s a light, barrel-aged beer that you can enjoy without feeling like you’re drinking a meal in a bottle.
Made in partnership with California’s Ballast Point Brewing Company, Western Standard is a relatively low alcohol brew (5.2% ABV) that’s perfect for session sipping. It’s an American Lager in style, but since it’s aged in High West bourbon barrels the beer offers subtle, delicious notes of vanilla and caramel. The key word here is subtle. The oak barrel-aged brew doesn’t whack you upside the head like an over-oaked Chardonnay. The brewers used a very light hand in imparting oak nuances into Western Standard and the result is a very well-balanced, refreshing, full-bodied lager that’s a pleasure to drink.
Western Standard Saloon Lager is now available in UDABC stores throughout Utah.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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