High West Midwinter Nights Dram – Act 6 / – Act 7

Thanks to /u/EvilAFI and /u/smoked_herring for these samples. Also thanks to Whiskey Consensus for the bottle pic.

So far I’ve had each of the MWND. I originally tasted it solely for the following reasons:

  • A friend had a bottle
  • I’m a fan of High West interesting whiskey finishes
  • I used to be a drama nerd and love Shakespeare
  • Did I mention I love ex-Port Barrel whiskies? Because I do.

Turns out my bias paid off, and I was a big fan of the first few acts. As time has gone on there’s been enough difference in quality that I’ve been trying each one seeing if they reach the level of the first few.

So today we look at Act 6 and Act 7 of High West Midwinter Nights Dram. We’re now at a point where there are more acts in Winter Nights Dram than Midsummer Night’s Dream. So move over Oberon, and go get another piece of ass Titania, we’re longer and by my toxic masculinity standards that means better.

Let’s just see how these taste, shall we?

High West Midwinter Nights Dram Act 6 Scene 5

Price: $170

Region: Utah

Cask Type: French oak & Port Barrels Finish

Abv: 49.1%

Colour: 2.5YR 3/8

Nose: Plum, hazelnut, brine, generic orange drink, potpourri

Starts out similar to previous drams: Initial port influence plum note, hazelnut. And then some cheap orange and assertive floral notes. You know, assertive, that word you use when you’re being an asshole but don’t want the church ladies to hit you up the side of the head.

Taste: Orange, nutmeg, brown sugar, grass

Orange takes over here, though the other spice and brown sugar aspects are strong enough to… dammit, now I don’t know what word to use other than assert…. Push on through.

Good spice, wish there was more, good brown sugar, wish it was more developed, nice grass, see previous notes. Also I’m a dick to oranges.

Finish: Generic orange drink, brine, sugared plums, oak, butter

Lots of orange on the finish. And nothing too special about it. We’re not talking a diverse, interesting orange here. We’re talking cheap Sunny D that hasn’t been in the fridge.

That said it starts hinting at aspects that should be there: More developed plum, for instance. Too little, too late, sadly.

Conclusion: Not really living up to the last ones, though nice to drink. I don’t hate this, but it’s a special occasion whiskey if we’re being honest. Limited edition, fancy artwork, higher price, has a name similar to other whiskies that were better. You get the idea. This drinks like a simple, everyday port touched dram.

So in other words it lives up to how terrible Act 5 is of Midsummer’s Night Dream (boom, take that dead writer!) Given that it’s Act 6, I can only assume there was an even worse ending to the play originally.


High West Midwinter Nights Dram Act 7 Scene 2

Price: $170

Region: Utah

Cask Type: French oak & Port Barrels Finish

Abv: 49.3%

Colour: 5YR 3/8

Nose: Brown sugar, plum, honey, moss, oak

So let’s take a moment to compare: This has initial brown sugar, some plum, honey, and then with water opens into a complex, lovely nose with mossy/vegetal notes.

So it’s better, I’m just rambling that it’s better. Slightly. More complexity.

Taste: Plum, brine, red licorice, dulce de leche, coffee

So again, we have similar ideas of plum and brine, thus why this is tasty, but with water, we get more of the rye, strawberry, and even complex butter/milk notes and coffee.

Again, better.

Finish: Strawberry, chemical, anise, mint, hazelnut, molasses

Lovely fruit, changes direction adding more spice and nuttiness, and really goes sweet with the molasses.

And all of that would be so great if not for this obnoxious chemical note that sticks around too long at the party.

Conclusion: So close to being a really amazing showing, then that chemical note just dominated the finish.

This is on the way to being back to the old quality. Especially the taste: That rich flavour and a lovely mixture of bitterness and sweet notes are so good. And the nose has improved over the last act as well.

What I’m saying is this: I’m not giving up on the series just yet. This is turned around from the rough acts, and it’s nice to see what I loved in the past again.


Bourbon review #263-4, Utah review #23-4, Whiskey Network review #1975-6

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