High West’s “limited engagement” release of Midwinter’s Night Dram is one that doesn’t sit on shelves long. Here in Maine, where “Midwinter” can seem to last for a number of months, it’s no surprise that these bottles don’t collect dust under the roof of retailers. You can expect this handsome bottle to punch a hole in your wallet that’s about the size of a Benjamin. With most limited release products being priced at (or above) the C-note it’s right in line with most of the market.

A few things stand out about this product. First and foremost, the releases are batched and labeled in Acts and Scenes. The idea is cool, and adds to the allure of the label. It also makes it a bit easier to track which release you have, which can be fun. Combine the label and High West’s trademark rustic looking bottle with a nice blend of dark rye and you’ve got an attractive package to place on your bar.

This particular release (Act 7 Scene 1) is, according to High West “A limited release of High West Rendezvous Rye finished in French oak port barrels”. High West actually does a nice job of providing information for consumers on the release, and we appreciate that. Moving into the tasting we find that High West provides a recommendation:

We recommend that you enjoy this special spirit neat, due to its
many layers of complexity, next to a warm fire as the snow piles up
on the window sill. It also pairs beautifully with fig cookies!

While there aren’t any fig cookies at The Bourbon Finder HQ tonight, there is an empty glencairn glass that looks like it could use a little pour…

Nose – Sweet and rich, although somehow it comes through as soft…is something could smell soft. There’s caramel and spice. Cinnamon and a light touch of herbal notes. It’s interesting on the nose and makes you want to swirl it in the glencairn a few more times to see what else is hiding in there. Fruit. Dark…almost jammy fruit.

Taste – The mouthfeel is decent. Just a little more body than an average pour would yield. The herbal note shows up as an almost savory first taste that quickly fades as caramel and spice take over. The fruit doesn’t stand out, but is noticeable.

Finish – On the longer side of medium. For being under 100 proof there’s a good linger here, and the spice that sticks around isn’t simply due to an ethanol burn. Caramel shows back up, but it’s more of a salted caramel blending with baking spice that fades away gradually allowing the oak to present itself for the last few seconds of the finish.

The Bourbon Finder Grade: B

Thoughts – This is a nice pour, and High West has knocked the marketing out of the park. Each time it dips below zero here in Maine I find myself thinking “Tonight’s a MWND night”. While this isn’t a great value at around $100, it isn’t on shelves long enough for much contemplation. Finding one bottle a year is probably enough for most folks, but it’s worth having one on your bar to get through the long nights of the cold season.

To have this shipped to your door check out Keg N Bottle

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Our grading system: As mentioned in our About Us page, we’re excited to share bourbon with our friends, family, and readers. There are enough critics, cynics, and curmudgeons in the whiskey world as it is. Our goal is to foster the bourbon community in a positive way by bringing fun and entertaining content whenever possible, and as such we decided early on that applying precise scores to whiskey was simply too serious for us. We use a simple grade school system to apply a grade to the whiskeys we review because it is indicative of the whiskey’s grade for us on that particular day. A grade of a “B” today may very well be a “B+” or even a “B-” on another day. Pour a bit and enjoy, these are the good old days of whiskey!

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