Category Archives: Interviews

An interview with David Perkins, the man behind High West Whiskey – part II of II


Video interview with David Perkins of High West – Part II of II: wherein David continues to take us through his new whiskey “Campfire” (my review of Campfire can be found beneath the videos) we discuss peat, blending and he then gives us a virtual tour of High West’s Distillery and award winning restaurant.

You can see Part I of this interview here.

I think the above intro basically tells all.  I hope you enjoy the balance of this interview as much as I enjoyed interviewing David:

And now the fourth and final video:

And finally, my review of High West’s Campfire whiskey – a blend of Bourbon, Rye whiskey and peated Scotch whisky:

High West Campfire – 46%ABV$50

On the nose  Spicy and bright nose. Hints of pine resin and toasted rye bread.  Brown spices and a touch of shoe leather.  Honey and chai.  Approachable/easy.  Joyful.

New charred-oak & subtle spice, jasmine & sandalwood.  Some citrus spice laced with just a hint of smoke as a backbone.

Given the name of the whiskey, not as much smoke on the nose as you’d expect.

On the mouth Forceful attack with big spice upfront.  A nice mouthfeel.   Toast and blueberry jam (notes I love to find with heavier toasted barrels).

Nutmeg, cinnamon and some orange zest.  Floral with citrus spice, like a rye IPA.

Smoke all around the edges, like burning twigs mayhaps…

Wonderful toasty and vanilla spice (chai) on the sides of the tongue.

Finish Long and spicy (with the spice staying toward the back of the tongue).

In sum — A warmer upper for sure.  This is a whiskey with a very “American” attitude however the addition of the Scotch whisky to the blend offers depth and dimension that many bourbons can’t provide.

Kudos to David Perkins for putting in some extra sweat equity in creating a truly different whisk(e)y experience.

Thanks, too, for the sample!

An interview with David Perkins, the man behind High West Whiskey – part I of II


Video interview with David Perkins of High West Part I of II: wherein David tells us about how he started High West and proceeds to take us through his new whiskey “Campfire.” (Campfire, if you’re not familiar, is a blend of bourbon, rye whiskey and peated Scotch whisky – cool stuff)

Over the past few years of running this blog I’ve had the opportunity to meet a whole host of wonderful people.  Whisky geeks and enthusiasts, brand ambassadors, malt masters, master distillers and master blenders.  The list can go on and on and it actually does and will continue to grow, I’m sure.

I met David Perkins, of High West fame, for the first time back in 2010 at WhiskyLive NYC.  High West was one of the tables I knew I had to get to and David Perkins was one of the people I knew I had to meet.  I’ve been a fan of High West for some time before coming to the show and people have told me that David was just a cool, cool guy.

We hit it off right from the get go.  David is a charming dude – smart and funny (not to mention a whiskey blending madman/mastermind).

Fast forward to 2012…  I asked David if he might be interested in being video-interviewed for the blog and he jumped at the chance (thanks again, David!).  So what you’ll see below is a recorded Skype video with David in the big portion of the screen and me in the lower left hand side of the video asking questions.

Rather than me go on and on about how cool David Perkins is, why don’t I let the videos speak for themselves:

Video Part I of IV (with a total of two out of the four videos being posted today):

And now, part II of IV (the second two will be posted tomorrow):

I hope you enjoyed the first installment in this interview.  Please be sure to check in tomorrow for the balance of the interview!

¡Holy Frijoles! The Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society blog & Indy Bottling Co. is up for 3 Drammies!

So… Somehow, someway, the Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society is in the final running for three separate, “2012 Drammie” awards!!

The Categories are we are in are:

  • Category #6 “Best Whiskey Information Source (Blog, Podcast, Magazine or other)”
  • Category #8 “Best New Whiskey Related Product (i.e., book, resource, web site, etc)”
  • Category #10 “Independent Whiskey Bottler of the Year”

As a whisk(e)y website & blogger, I must say that I am honored that you’d vote for me to be in the final running of the Drammies – thank you for your votes and I hope you’ll vote for me again in the second and final round – click here to vote now (remember, categories #6 & #8)!

As an Independent Bottling Company – being on the short for “Independent Whiskey Bottler of the Year” has us (Jason Johnstone-Yellin, Seth Klaskin and myself) elated, honored, pleased-as-punch, excited and confused that we’d be in the running seeing as we’ve not yet released our whisky!!  The others in the running have been around much longer than us so it would make far more sense that one of the four others claim that prize!

Please feel free to vote for us again in the final running for the 2012 Drammies (however, again, the four others may be more qualified to claim that prize) – click here to do so (remember, category #10).

We thank you for the votes and view your support as a compliment to: our company launch, our vision and marketing campaign.  Furthermore, the Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society receives your kind support as a challenge, too.  We have *a lot* to live up to and aim to please our members every step of the way.

The whiskies that we have chosen for our Summer 2012 release are nothing short of stunning.  Should you be interested in joining the Society and gain access to the whiskies we’ll be releasing, click here for information – we look forward to having you as a member!

Thank you/Todah Rabah/Merci Beaucoup/Gracias/Danke/ممنون

Managing Director of Impex Beverages, Ed Kohl, to join The Keepers of the Quaich Society

A rarity here at the JSMWS blog — a press release.  I thought this one was well worth posting as Ed Kohl is one of THE names in Scotch whisky.

Congrats, Ed – a well deserved honor, my friend!


Ed Kohl invited to join The Keepers of the Quaich Society

Ed Kohl, Managing Director of ImpEx Beverages, Inc. has been invited to enter the esteemed Keepers of the Quaich Society. The induction ceremony will take place on April 23, 2012, during the next Keeper’s banquet at Blair Castle of Atholl Estates in the Highland region of Scotland. The Keepers of the Quaich is a Scotch Whisky society with membership by invitation only, founded to acknowledge those who have contributed to the Scotch Whisky industry. This prestigious honor was given to Ed Kohl in recognition of 17+ years of contributions to the industry. Kohl was chosen specifically for his ability to blend the old with the new. He has enhanced scotch awareness with his non-stop national tasting seminars, sharing his palate with connoisseurs and recently discovered scotch lovers. He uses modern social media venues such as Facebook and Twitter to keep regular fans posted on announcements and upcoming events. His use of social media venues also serves to attract a different demographic from the “traditional” scotch lovers and cultivates passion for whisky in a variety of age groups.

A leading whisky expert and spirit specialist, Kohl conducts more than 100 educational seminar tastings every year. He travels the United States promoting the ImpEx portfolio of products while maintaining close relationships with manufacturers, distributors, retailers and consumers.  He is passionate about single malt Scotch whisky and has a niche focus in understanding the needs of independent bottlers and how to successfully bring new products to market.  ImpEx Beverages, Inc. is the exclusive USA importer of a variety of products including the Ian MacLeod brands: Chieftain’s, Isle of Skye, and SMOKEHEAD. Prior to founding ImpEx Beverages, Inc., Ed spent 15 years as North American Marketing Manager for Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co.

Day 4 – Video tasting with Glenmorangie’s Global Ambassador David Blackmore – Tasting the “Private Editions”

Finally, we are at the finish.

But before we got here, yesterday we discussed Glenmorangie’s Quinta Ruban and Nectar D’or (Port and Sauternes finishes, respectively) and the day before that we lead off talks of their “Extra-Matured” range with the Glenmorangie Lasanta which is a sherry finished whisky.

We began this entire video series a few days ago with the flagship Glenmorangie – “The Original” (here is a link to that video)

So what will we discuss in the end?  The first two of Glenmorangie’s Private Editions: Sonnalta PX, which is a Pedro Ximenez sherry finished whisky and the Finealta which is a replication, they think, of what Glenmorangie’s whisky might have tasted like back in the very early 1900’s and is lightly peated.

As with the others, the below videos are more than just tasting videos.  David Blackmore does a great job teaching us about the whiskies, process and more.

David, thank you very much for doing this series with me.  I look forward to our next shoot when we cover the Ardbeg line.

And thank you to all who’ve follow the series!  I hope you enjoy the videos below.  Cheers!

 And now to video number two:

Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society’s official tasting notes on the Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX & Finealta

Sonnalta PX (as reviewed in April 2010) – 46% ABV –$65 – $90 | £56 | €75

On the nose Banana peels & cinnamon, Banana chips, candied oranges (strange, even orange Jujubees, sort of a soapy quality but good), The nose really reminds me of the palate on the Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey with all of the yummy banana-i-ness to it.  A very un-Glenmorangie nose.  Wait, I sniffed after typing that and I take it back, notes from The Original Ten Years are popping through honey, apples.  It’s all hiding there waiting to sneak up on you!

On the mouthFantastic mouth feel!  Oh, G-d, that’s just so chewy…  Like salted taffy or caramel.  Nuts and root veggies, a touch of chocolate here (sort of like chocolate shavings if you’ve ever had them, a very different taste than a chunk of chocolate), wine soaked raisins.

FinishQuite long.  Chocolate covered leather (oh, so slight with the leather quality), raisins and fresh fruits.  Huh, slight nutty oak after about 45 seconds or so.

Finealta (as reviewed in December 2010) – 46% ABV –$65 – $75 | £61 | €75

On the noseBig cherry presence on the nose along with something minty.  An earthy quality to it – fresh potting soil, new ferns.  The peat in here is very light.  Toffee & caramel.  Cadbury fruit & nut bar.  Some soy sauce.

On the mouth Spiced orange gum drops.  Red ones too.  Lots of nuttiness and now some coffee tones in there.  Solid mouth feel here, folks!  Creamy, ooey – I love it.  Peppery and more soy sauce notes.  Again, lightly smoked & very elusive.

Finish Now quite tannic.  Quite long too.

You can view days 1, 2 and 3 of this video series, here, here and here (respectively).